Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chinese-Japanese Tea Exchange

Recently we were approached to demonstrate Cha-no-yu to a Chinese student who practices Chinese tea ceremony. Shuai has studied Chinese tea since she was a teen and learned through a mutual friend at HSU that we practice Japanese tea ceremony. On March 15th we arranged a demonstration at our home chashitsu.

Kristin performed Usucha. Guests were Laura, Kumi, Jay (Kumi's husband), Shuai (the Chinese student) and Holly. Harvey narrated. Kumi and Jay had just gone to San Fransisco and brought fresh manju sweets. We enjoyed Haiken after Usucha.

After tea, Shuai asked several questions about the ceremony, and was interested to know about any symbolic meaning what movements or actions might have. Harvey explained about the Four Principles -- Purity, Tranquility, Respect and Harmony -- and their influence on Cha-no-yu. And later, while we were enjoying sake and senbei in the kitchen, Harvey and Shuai sat down at the computer and watched YouTube videos of both Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies.

Shuai is anxious to demonstrate Chinese tea ceremony for us, and we are equally excited to see it. We hope to see it at HSU's Asian-Pacific Cultural Festival or sooner if we can manage.

Here's an article written by our local paper about Shuai and her tea practice:

http://www.times-standard.com/ci_8622571

We are arranging a tea demonstration of our own at the HSU festival, but nothing has been finalized yet.
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