On January 8th, 2023, the first tea of the year known as hatsugama (which means “first kettle”) was held at the Marina Village Conference Center’s Bayview Room located in Mission Bay, San Diego. Urasenke Tankokai San Diego Association’s Soshin Saito sensei and her students gathered to celebrate the new year. This was our first gathering since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The student demonstrated misonodana 御園棚, a way of serving tea using tables and chairs. This style of tea preparation is called ryurei, and was first introduced to the world by Gengensai (1810-1877), the 11th head of Urasenke for the 1872 International Exposition in Kyoto so that Western visitors could be served tea while comfortably sitting in chairs in a non-traditional Japanese setting.
Happy year of the Rabbit to you all.