Traditional Japanese Early Summer Viewing Tea Ceremony June 24
Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Gardens will offer a rare opportunity to participate in a Shoka chakai, a traditional Japanese Early Summer Viewing Tea Ceremony Sunday, June 24. The demonstration will take place in Anderson Japanese Gardens’ 16th-century Sukiya-style Guest House.
Upon arriving, participants will gather in the Visitors’ Center, where they will enjoy a hot cup of genmaicha, roasted rice-flavored tea, while viewing the picturesque beauty of the gardens below. Following this warm introduction, guests will be guided along the garden paths to the Guest House. At the conclusion of the ceremony, participants are invited back to the Visitors’ Center to view an extraordinary display of tea bowls and other tea ceremony-related items, which will be available for purchase in the Gift Shop.
Kimiko Gunji, professor emeritus of Japanese Traditional Arts and Culture and the former director of Japan House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will be the host of this event. The tea bowls are crafted by Jason Armour, one of her esteemed students. Armour’s goal is to help people “find beauty in plainness and tranquil simplicity through set naturalistic aesthetic values” — a concept derived from his interpretation of the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi.
Gunji said: “As technology continually advances, human beings are so enraptured by its power and capability; however, through this captivation, they often succumb to surrendering the very element that makes them human: the use of their five senses. My concentration is to impart to those with whom I encounter through my teachings and my art, the significance of becoming a fine human being through the vitalization of the senses and the natural manifestation of one’s kokoro.” The Japanese word, kokoro, can be translated into “mind, spirit and heart.”
Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony times are 10-10:40 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m., 1:30-2:10 p.m. and 3-3:40 p.m.
The cost to participate is $25 per person or $20 for Anderson Japanese Gardens’ members. Reservations are required. Space is limited to 15 participants for each of the Tea Ceremony times. For reservations or for more information about the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, contact Julie Pastore by phone at (815) 316-3307 or by e-mail at jpastore@AndersonGardens.org.
From the June 13-19, 2012, issue
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