Japanese Snow Viewing Tea Ceremony at Anderson Gardens Feb. 1

Staff Report

Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, will offer a rare opportunity to participate in a yukimi chakai, a traditional Japanese Snow Viewing Tea Ceremony, Saturday, Feb. 1. The demonstration will take place in Anderson Japanese Gardens’ 16th century Sukiya-style Guest House.

Guests will arrive in the Visitor Center, where they will enjoy a hot cup of genmaicha, roasted rice-flavored tea, in the beautiful setting overlooking the gardens. Following this warm introduction, guests will be guided through the winter landscape to the Guest House, where the yukimi chakai will take place. At the conclusion of the ceremony, participants are invited back to the Visitor Center to view an extraordinary display of tea bowls and other tea ceremony-related items that will be available for purchase.

Kimiko Gunji, professor emeritus of Japanese traditional arts and culture and the former director of Japan House at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, will be the host of this event. The tea bowls are crafted by Jason Armour, one of her esteemed students. Jason’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.

Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony times will be 10:30-11:30 a.m., 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 2-3 p.m.

The cost to participate is $25 per person. 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 Katie Weston by phone at (815) 316-3306 or by e-mail to kweston@andersongardens.org.

Professor Gunji will teach the proper tea-serving procedures Sunday, Feb. 2. The class will be from 10 a.m. until noon and is limited to 10 participants. The cost is $45 per participant, and reservations are required.

Posted Jan. 29, 2014

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