Monday, October 5, 2009

Matcha source update

A couple of recent trips to San Francisco took us to Japantown and Asakichi stores. Asakichi operates four stores in Japantown, one of which specializes in tea and equpment for chanoyu. The matcha they sell is Uji Koyama-en. We stocked up with several tins of their delicious tea.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chanoyu Glossary

This Omotesenke web page has one of the best Chanoyu glossaries I've seen:

It has wonderfully clear explanations, and many are accompanied by pictures. I'm considering printing a copy to keep with my notes.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So, where do you get your Matcha?

Weekly Tea ceremony practice with four or five people will use up a tin of tea in short order so we're always looking for good and affordable matcha. We often stock up when friends go to Portland or San Francisco, and until recently have ordered delicious tea from However, necessity dictates we broaden our tastes and shopportunities.

Here are some sites I found while cruising for new tea sources. Any recommendations? Comments are welcome!
We have tried Ippodo teas and found them to be of very good quality. The tea was sent as a gift from Sensei in Japan. We have not ordered directly from them. Who'da thunk that you could buy matcha from amazon?? I'm tempted.
We bought Shizuoka Tea from vending machines in and around Shizuoka. Very tasty.

EDEN Organic Matcha

Chanoyu in Montréal

Recently, Laura discovered Chanoyu while visiting Montréal.

While planning activities for Montréal, I discovered that the Montreal Association of Chado Urasenke Tankokai offered demonstrations of Japanese Tea ceremony at the Botanical Gardens' Japanese Tea Garden. I determined to go, and made a day of it. ...

Her photos of the beautiful garden and impressions of having Tea are here at Lauraven's Miscellany...

Friday, August 21, 2009


These three bowls viewed together told a unique story that could not be conveyed by any of them individually.

Oribe, raku, modern -- reading about these tea bowls tugs at my heartstrings and I wish I could have held them too.

(Thanks for the link Kumi!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Encyclopedia of Shinto

Recently, Harvey found a darling picture of a Japanese shrine cat which reminded us of our cat, Nikko. The photo was taken at Umemiya Shrine in Kyoto. Curious, I did a quick Google search to find out about the shrine and came across this website:

This is a good introduction to Shinto, an important influence on Chado and Japanese culture in general.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I found a beautiful photo and culture blog and had to share this link about the use of sensu in Tea Ceremony.

Kyoto Daily Photo: Another purpose of sensu, paper fun

Take time to enjoy other posts and photos.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ku Day Ta

Milpitas is usually not a destination for me. It's straight up and down the 101, either to Santa Rosa or San Francisco, attempting to avoiding lunatic drivers and trying to not give in to road rage. However, I think I have found a reason to make a side trip. Ku Day Ta looks like an intriguing little tea shop, just right for washing away any vestige of road rage. Here's an offering from last April to entice you to visit their lovely web page:

Ku Day Ta

Celebrate Spring With Ku Day Ta Tea Lounge –Oolong April!

Ku Day Ta has assembled a delicious variety of premium, fresh Oolong teas during the month of April. 15% off all Oolong teas from April 1st – April 30th.

Join us for Oolong April

To celebrate spring and our rare premium, fresh and delicious Oolong teas, join us for Oolong tea tastings in April:


Cost: $15.00 per person includes three selected teas from our Oolong tea collection. Taste small bites from our new food menu chosen to pair with your tea choices. 15% off our Oolong teas to take home for each tea tasting ticket purchased.

Oolong Teas (pronounced Wu-Long, means "Black Dragon") are semi-fermented and express characteristics in-between Green and Black Teas. Because Oolong Teas have smooth, complex flavors, they are often a favorite among connoisseurs.

Oolong teas have the health benefits of green tea. Oolongs can range from a buttery caramel taste, to milky, silky or smoky depending upon the type selected and region. The most widely coveted Oolongs are from Taiwan and China.

Click here to register for our tea tasting or call us and make your reservation today! 408 935-9107 Visit our web site for more information.

Go Green at Ku DayTa – Bring us your canister for a refill of your favorite tea and we'll take 10% off your purchase.

(408) 935-9107

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shizuoka blog

I was time wasting on the internet and found this extremely cool blog that has now made be very hungry.

Enjoy, and try not to drool on your keyboard like I did


Bakumatsu koshashin

You have a photo of yourself in kimono, perhaps meandering the roji, and you say to yourself, "I sure wish I could make make my photos look like they're from the Meiji era!" Well now you can, with the amazing Bakumatsu Koshashin!

Just upload your photo then click the button to see yourself transported back in time!

After you've converted your entire iPhoto library, take a look at this Japanese language blog, It's where Harvey originally found Bakumatsu Koshashin. The rest of the site is interesting.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ukiah spelled backward is...

... Haiku!

And Ukiah has a Haiku festival in late April. Who knew? Not me! I learned about it only after the event was over. I'm putting it on the calendar for next year. It's only a three-hour drive for us and could be a lot of fun. Care to join us?

Read more about it:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Way of Tea in Tennessee

During an idle moment on Twitter I found myself typing "Chado" into the search box. I discovered the Memphis Botanical Garden and the Way of Tea in Tennessee:

One of the gardens is the Japanese Garden of Tranquility (Seijaku-En) and also features a maple tree collection.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Socially networking

We have set up a Ning site for Horai. It seems like a good hub to post Tea practice info and update Facebook and Twitter feeds. Sign up, follow and let me know how it's working.

Friday, June 26, 2009

SF Asian Art Museum "Lords of the Samurai" exhibit through Sept. 20, 2009

The exhibition features more than 160 works from the Hosokawa family collection housed in the Eisei-Bunko Museum in Tokyo, and from Kumamoto Castle and the Kumamoto Municipal Museum in Kyushu. Objects on view include suits of armor, armaments (including swords and guns), formal attire, calligraphy, paintings, tea wares, lacquerware, masks, and musical instruments.

The Asian Art Museum is the only U.S. venue for this exhibition.

Tea wares!? A quick perusal of the website lead me to this link about Raku:

Also, there will be Tea ceremony demonstrations associated with the exhibit from several tea schools. General admission tickets are $17 + $5 surcharge (but there are discounts for groups of 10+).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mumblings on Kakuzo Okakura’s 'The Book of Tea '

Sitting seiza, alone in my Tea room, I pondered Kakuzo Okakura’s writings on Teaism in his book The Book of Tea. Overall, this book is very insightful for readers to help them understand the Tea Ceremony and the history and philosophy behind it. Many of his stories and explanations are very thought provoking; for instance, the explanation of the Zen concept of all things being of equal importance (Okakura 28). However, one aspect of the book that I did not prefer was the negative tone he uses in the cultural comparisons of the East and West. In my opinion, Okakura appears to reflect a prejudice that since Chado developed in Japan, Westerners would not be able to fully appreciate the underlying tenets of Teaism.

Many of the concepts that Okakura shared about Chado and its philosophy made lasting impressions with me. One example that I particularly liked was the Zen concept of the equal importance of small and large things. As Okakura states, seeing “the mundane as equal importance with the spiritual,” one can reach enlightenment even when doing the most menial activities (Okakura 28-29). This concept has had a lasting impression on my philosophy of life since I first read it many years ago. Another concept that Kakuzo Okakura touches on that impressed me was the comparison of a minimally decorated Tea room to that of listening to just one piece of music at a time. This enables someone to put their full attention to the piece of art being displayed (Okakura 39). I find myself daily, sitting in my Tea room focusing my whole attention on some piece of artwork that one of my kids made or a flower arrangement my spouse gave me. The bare quality of a Tea room encompasses time and space that promotes reflections on the important aspects in life.

The comparisons that Okakura illustrates between Western and Eastern cultures and the tone he writes in suggests that the ideals of Tea could be better understood by Japanese versus Westerners. Okakura asserts “the average Westerner, in his sleek complacency, will see in the tea ceremony but another instance of the thousand and one oddities of the East to him (Okakura 2).” In addition, from the comparison of interior decorations (40-41) and flower arrangements (Okakura 52-53) as well as to the ways of life of the Japanese peasants and meanest laborers (Okakura 2), he remains attached to the notion that the essence of Chado could be most appreciated by the Japanese. It made me feel he has not grasped the Zen aspect of non-attachment in the Way of Tea, which is one of the most important aspects of the way of tea. The essence of Chado transcends culture and can be found in all tenants of life.

In contrast, an author that shows non-attachment to his culture is Soshitsu Sen XV in his book Tea Life, Tea Mind. Soshitsu Sen XV states that “our spirit should flow through life like the wind that flows through all of nature. Identifying with nature in this matter necessarily creates a state of mind with a detached objective quality (Soshitsu Sen 66).” He continues to provide an example of an American acquaintance who was using a pair of metal chopsticks as a wind chime (Soshitsu Sen 67). The acquaintance was able to see another beautiful use for an object that others did not see. One must approach Chado in this spirit because the essence of Chado can be experienced from many perspectives and cultures.

The Book of Tea is an in-depth source for the history and philosophy of Teaism. Okakura shares many wonderful anecdotes reflecting on the Way of Tea and Eastern Way of Life. Many of the concepts that he shares about Chado and its philosophy made lasting impressions with me and have been implemented in my life since I first shared a bowl of tea many years ago. All people have the ability to fully appreciate the underlying tenets of Teaism.

— Eric Scheenstra

Sunday, May 10, 2009

German Tea

Harvey found this link to Japanese Tea in German. (Kristin for part of her home works gets to translate.)

If you're not fluent (like me) go to Bablefish and translate the website. Which is also very groovy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tea Practice, 28 April

Tea practice for Tuesday evening 28 April 09 Reminder:

At Kristin's house
Kristin doing usucha

Pia bringing flowers.

H2 bringing furo, sensu, kaishi etc.

Dhar: Shokyaku
Laura: Dhar's giude

Dan: Makkyaku
Pia: Dan's guide

Holly: Describe tanka

H, K, L, P: be ready for haiken

Others who show up will be set to different tasks and second rounds of tea.

For everyone: remember to bring your regular items, socks etc., AND your notebooks and pen, blue chado books, AND. at least one haiku that you have written.

pax, H2 MuGai

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Princess Taiping rammed by unknown vessel

We received this message over the weekend:

"Hello all

Bad news, the Princess Taiping capsized off the coast of Taiwan, near Suao. All were rescued. We hope to hear from Angela and the rest of the crew soon. Our thoughts are with you.

Here is the url of the article:

Amy, Dennis Sean, Ryan Lily"

The Princess Taiping, a replica Chinese junk, was struck by an unknown vessel and sunk off the coast of Taiwan. She had nearly completed her round-trip of the Pacific Ocean.

The Princess Taiping visited Humboldt Bay, Eureka, in October 2008 (see Previous Posts, below). Harvey and the crew enjoyed friendly maritime exchanges of tea, chess and boat talk, and we exchanged ensigns with the captain and crew.

Here's a more detailed story on The China Post:
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- “We all but made it,” Nelson Liu bemoaned yesterday…
And from the BBC:

A replica 16th-Century junk has sunk off Taiwan, one day short of completing an epic voyage to the US and back.…

We're very grateful to the Taiwanese Coast Guard for rescuing the crew of the Princess Taiping but deeply saddened at the loss of their beautiful ship.

:: :: ::

Facebook Group: search for "Sailing Yacht Princess Taiping"

Previous Horaizons posts:
HSU to host Chinese junk skipper
Chinese ship replica visits Humboldt
Photo album

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ohanami Tea

Last Sunday we gathered at Laura and Karin's house for Ohanami and an outdoor tea ceremony.

A flurry of activity always precedes the quiet of chado, and this morning was no different. We gathered up dogu, made a batch of sakura mochi to share. Just as we were getting ready to leave the house, I turned to Harvey in a panic, "Wait! I forgot chabana!" I started to get my garden shears and was headed towards the back door when he stopped me.

"Honey," he said with a hint of exasperation, pausing for emphasis. "You'll be under a cherry tree."

Oh. Right.

From Ohanami Tea 04/05/09

We enjoyed tea under the cherry tree, with buzzing bees and hummingbirds and a curious cat. The tea color was so much brighter in the sunshine than in the dim light of our chashitsu.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Titanium chawan?

If you wanted to hike into the Trinity Alps and do a Tea ceremony, you'd need a titanium tea bowl and tiny whisk, right? Believe it or not, has them! Perfect for the backpacking tea aficionado:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Harvey's homework assignment: Listen to the 'Book of Tea'

Sempai Harvey has sent out a homework assignment. Here's what it said:

It is very easy, almost painless, unless you do it all while in seiza, but an important one. Please respond when you have finished.

Your homework assignment is to listen to The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo. (It WOULD be better if you read along in the book while you are listening to it, but…) Here is the link to the book on LIBRIVOX:

Scroll down to find the Zip file.
Un-Zip the file.
You can throw away the Zipped file.
Save the Un-Zipped folder.
Open I-Tunes. Drag the files into I-Tunes. I use a separate Playlist for each Book.

Be careful to check that the chapters are in the correct sequence. Sometimes they get shuffled in the download/unzipping process.

After listening, please be prepared to share impressions, insights, agreements or disagreements with the author’s ideas and comments.

This work can be very helpful to your way of Tea.

Ponder this deeply.


P.S. Gripes and complaints will be gratefully accepted. Yea, I know I'm a **@@*)&^)*^%@#$!.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

NY Times: With Explosions of Color, Tibetan Art Flourishes

Published: March 30, 2009

The monasteries in the mountain valley of Sengeshong, China, are some of the most important centers of art in the Tibetan world. Read full story...

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Drink for a Smaller Waist

Of course!

Here’s an easy way to turn a routine workout into a powerful waist-whittler: Drink green tea.
– A tip from

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rykubondate practice, March 17

Chabana, March 17 – flowering quince

Last week, we set up the chashitsu with two furo for tea practice so two people could make tea at a time. It was cozy with two furo in a four-and-a-half mat room. Because of the new configuration we had to make some adjustments, but since two people at a time could make tea more people got to practice.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring tea harvest in Kyoto!

Kumi found this photo on Asahi Newspaper a few days ago. Enjoy!


What exactly is a chaboo? It's a sweet little table from designer Ken Tomita named after the Japanese word for low table (chabudai) and what it's made from (bamboo). Even sweeter is that Tomita didn't keep this minimalist creation all to himself. He invited other artists and designers to put their touches on these tables or reinterpret the design from scratch. The results show just how much variation creative folks can produce on a single simple theme. And the online gallery might inspire a custom remix of your own.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tsagaan sar!

Yesterday, Harvey and I got to enjoy Tsagaan sar, Mongolian New Year, at the home of Susan Fox and David Thewlis with their friends Ganaa, Ricardo, Diane and Dave. Ganaa, a native Mongolian, was very gracious in sharing her culture with us and showed us how to make buuz (pronounced "boze"). I'd call buuz Mongolian potstickers -- ground meat wrapped in dough and steamed, then eaten with whatever sauce or condiment you choose. Ganaa tried to teach us how to say "happy new year" but I have to admit I can't remember the phrase now, probably owing to following the Mongolian custom of celebratory drinking -- we toasted with lots of beer and "Ghingis Khan" brand Mongolian vodka (very tasty). Since Mongolian beer isn't available in the U.S., they offered Singha, a Thai beer (available at our local Co-Op), and the closest in flavor they have found.

I got the impression that Tsagaan sar seems to be a progressive party with family groups going from ger to ger during the course of the celebrations which last for several weeks and involve eating and drinking to excess. For instance, one night you and your family would come to my place tonight, we'd give you gifts and feed you. Lots. Then tomorrow, I and mine would come to your place and you'd reciprocate. Mongolians are generous and hospitable to a fault, sometimes going hungry themselves when hospitality requires them to entertain a guest. It seems no one is ever turned away from a ger, and always welcomed with tea and whatever food is available. (It's common for us to call Mongolian homes yurts because that's what occupying Russians called them, but the correct Mongolian word is ger, pronouced "gare".)

Ganaa, Ricardo, Susan and David all shared stories of Mongolia. After dinner, Ganaa and Susan shared pictures on the computer.

Here are some nifty links:

Naturally, we ate and drank to excess. I believe I need an aspirin.

Paper Hina-ningyo for Hinamatsuri

Upcoming tea practice falls on Hinamatsuri and since we don't have proper Hina ningyo to display, so I found this online to celebrate Hinamatsuri in proper fashion:

You can download the pdf, then print and cut out the tiny paper figures, then glue it up to make a three-tier display. I don't recommend this unless you have sharp scissors or xacto blade, magnifying glasses and an obsessive-compulsive personality. However, the figures are beautifully drawn and it's darling without being exceptionally cutesy. Also on the same website are paper crafts for other Japanese holidays, which promise to be equally challenging.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Silver lining

Maybe letter-writing actually does help!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 11:14 AM
Subject: Responding to your message

Dear Mrs. Harvey:

Thank you for writing to express your support for the inclusion of funding for the arts in H.R.1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I appreciate hearing your views on this critical bill, which has passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009.

H.R.1 will inject $787 billion into our economy through tax cuts and spending on projects to save and create jobs. It will make significant investments in vital infrastructure projects, give much-needed aid to our states, and help to create and save millions of American jobs.

The final legislation includes $50 million appropriated to the National Endowment for the Arts. In turn, the NEA will fund arts projects and activities in order to preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector currently being threatened by a decline in philanthropic and other support during the economic downturn.

Again, thank you for writing to me on this important issue. Be assured that I will keep doing all I can to help get America's economy back on track. I will continue working with the Obama Administration and my Senate colleagues to enact legislation to stimulate growth, create jobs, and make American businesses more competitive in the global economy.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Please visit my website at

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tea and Tea People

Shuai Chen's latest installment of Tea Tales: About types of tea and 'tea people'

I can hardly imagine the tea collection she describes -- it sounds fabulous!

Tea practice, Feb. 24

Tea practice on Tuesday was ryakubondate. Laura was teishu for Kristin (shokyaku), Harvey (jikyaku) and Holly (makyaku). I was impressed with how much more naturally Laura made tea this week than last week, with smoother motions and less hesitation.

We used the "temari ball" chawan and orange natsume with flower designs. Flowering quince is blooming. It's one of my favorite flowers for chabana.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Live forward

Each year a theme is chosen for the Imperial Japanese poetry competition in Japan. This year's theme is "Sei," meaning "to live forward."
Sweetpersimmon blog has a delightful description of the competition. Read about it at

Please also take a minute to visit the sweetpersimmon blog's sister website,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nifty Tea Ceremony Website

Laura found this website. It looks very comprehensive, with lots and lots of info to sift through.

One more reason to spend time online.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Make tea on your birthday

Pussywillow, Tuesday's chabana on Laura's birthday. After her feet recovered from making tea (ryakubondate) we sipped nigori sake and midnight snax in the kitchen.

Here's the mizuya after chashitsu cleaning a couple weeks ago:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Waka wish

Going to Japan
tea practice and birdwatching
with good company

Gardens and temples and food
old friends and new friends meeting

Spring two thousand ten…

Composed by the Tuesday Tea Folk while painting Daruma's eye. Help us complete the verse?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shiny and clean

The Chashitsu got a stem-to-stern cleaning just before Lunar New Year. Thank goodness for help from Pia, Laura and Kristin! Everything got removed from the room, right down to the bare walls and floors, dusted, vacuumed, windows washed. Dogu reorganized, repacked and relabeled. We even got a couple boxes out of storage and sorted them out. It was a very productive day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Give to the Ink People when you shop the Co-Op!

Humboldt locals can provide a donation to the Ink People each time we shop at the Northcoast Co-Op in Arcata or Eureka. (The Ink People is the big mamma arts organization that took Horai under its wing.) Simply use the member number "85802" when you make your purchase and Inkers get some green. It's an easy way to donate to the arts and support the organization that fosters us.

If you're not in the area, you can still support the Ink People by becoming a member: Go to the Ink People's website, download the membership form (PDF) and join. And if you have spare change rattling in your pocket, please make a separate donation to the Ink People for Horai. It will help us to purchase tea or sweets for tea practice, or items such as chakin, sensu, kaishi... or whatever else we might need to do a demonstration. Buddah thanks you, and so do we.

Community Groups Selected for 1% Register Donation Program

The Gifting Committee of the North Coast Co-op’s Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) approved 48 non-profit organizations to participate in receiving donations from shoppers at the register, 12 more than last year. How it works: A Co-op shopper tells their cashier the number for the non-profit organization they want to donate to. The cashier enters that number into the register and one percent of the total is automatically added to the shopper's transaction. Membership is not required. A list of groups is posted at each register. The one percent donation is kept in the non-profit organization’s account and donations are distributed twice throughout the program year (July 1 though June 30). The next application period is Spring 2009.

In addition to the 28 previously participating groups, new groups include 4-H TRAIL, Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT), Friends of the Annie & Mary Rail-trail, Hospice of Humboldt, Humboldt Pride, KHSU, McKinleyville Youth Center, Miranda's Rescue, North Coast Regional Land Trust, Pregnancy Care Center of the North Coast, Redwood Coast Children's Chorus, Salmon Creek Community School, Sequoia Humane Society, Sequoia Park Zoo, Serenity Inn, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, Sustainable Nations, The Ink People Center for the Arts, Trails Trust of Humboldt Bay, and World Shelters.

Donations to program groups fund operational costs and specific projects in the community. To view details for each program visit and go to Donations. Scroll down to the Register Donation Program area at the bottom of the page. Monitor how much each group earns by clicking on the link “Click here to look up info on current program participants.”

CCF is a permanent endowment established and directed by members of the North Coast Co-op, which awards grants to support projects and the work of community organizations in Humboldt County. Through collaborative grant making the Fund seeks to strengthen the community by emphasizing projects and activities that promote democratic cooperative principles, community development and food security.

Register Donation Program Groups and Their Numbers for 2008-2009

4-H Leaders Council




AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project


Arcata Children's Centers


Arcata House


CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)


CCAT (Campus Center for Appropriate Technology


CAFF (Community Alliance with Family Farmers)


CCF (Co-op Community Fund)




Democracy Unlimited


Food for People


Friends of the Annie & Mary Rail-trail


Friends of the Dunes


HCAR (Humboldt Community Access & Resource Center)


Hospice of Humboldt


Humboldt Arts Council


Humboldt Community Breast Health Project


Humboldt County Red Cross


Humboldt Domestic Violence


Humboldt Library Foundation


Humboldt Mediation Services


Humboldt Pride


Humboldt Senior Resource Center


Humboldt Wildlife Care Center




Lost Coast Camp


Making Headway


McKinleyville Youth Center


Miranda's Rescue


North Coast Regional Land Trust


Pregnancy Care Center of the North Coast


Queer Humboldt


RCAA Youth Services Bureau


Redwood Coast Children's Chorus


Renewable Energy Student Union


Salmon Creek Community School


Sequoia Humane Society


Sequoia Park Zoo


Serenity Inn


Six Rivers Planned Parenthood


St. Josheph Hospital Foundation


Sustainable Nations


The Ink People Center for the Arts


Trails Trust of Humboldt Bay


Tri-County Independent Living


World Shelters


Y.E.S. (Youth Educational Services)


US/Japan Creative Artists Residency

Artist challenge! This just in courtesy of Libby Maynard, Executive Director, The Ink People Center for the Arts.

US/Japan Creative Artists Residency
Japan-US Friendship Commission

Each year leading contemporary and traditional artists from the United States spend five months in Japan as part of the United States/Japan Creative Artists Program. They go as seekers, as cultural visionaries, and as living liaisons to the traditional and contemporary cultural life of Japan. The outlook they bring home provides an unparalleled opportunity to promote cultural understanding between the United States and Japan.

Cultural understanding is at the heart of this program. It provides funds for up to five artists to complete the residency in Japan. Artists are free to interact with Japanese artists anywhere in the country and to pursue activities of greatest relevance to their creative process. While many artists chose to remain in Tokyo, others have undertaken their residencies in Kyoto or other cities, and still others have worked in rural settings or have visited a number of sites relevant to their work.

While artists will be predominantly on their own upon their arrival in Tokyo, International House of Japan provides in-depth orientation materials, expert advice and professional contacts, as well as logistical support during the residency period.

The Japan-US Friendship Commission works cooperatively with the National Endowment for the Arts to sponsor this program.

Grant Award
Each artist will receive:

  • a monthly stipend of 400,000 yen for living expenses, 100,000 yen a month as a housing supplement, and up to 100,000 yen a month for professional support services. (While the yen value may fluctuate against the dollar, applicants should be assured that these funds will cover the cost of living and working in Japan.)
  • a total of up to $6,000 for round-trip transportation for the artist, domestic partner and / or unmarried children (up to age 18) and a baggage/storage allowance, and any pre-departure Japanese language study in the United States.

Because of the limited number of awards, only one residency will be supported for artists who apply as a collaborative team. In addition, while artists may wish to apply for other grants concurrently with the application to this program, selected artists may not hold a second award for financial assistance during the period of support of the US /Japan Creative Artists-EProgram.

See program guidelines for more information, or the website for general info.

Grant link:
Deadline: 02-01-2009

Greetings from Kansas

A lovely Japanese OShogatsu (new years) meal made by none other than my lovely wife Shigeko.

Our Flowers and decorations for Oshogatsu

This is the group of students I study Tea with at Kansas State. Ohno Sensei is in the green Kimono.

This is from the 2008 spring Festival. I was host for the Usucha demonstration. we had about 100 people viewing for each demo.

The video screen, while helpful for the people in the back, did give it a sort of weird blade runneresque feeling. Those of us actually doing the demonstration did manage to ignore it pretty much the whole time.

Hello everyone,

My name is Jeff, you can call be brewdude, and I am addicted to the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Hollix has graciously allowed my posting right here so I will stop in from time to time to talk about Horai mid-west. I am living in Manhattan Kansas going to grad school and still studying tea, though not as much as I would like. Right now I am practicing the usucha temai for ryurei (the table) The university owns a nice ryurei set and we are using it in the Kansas State University Japanese Festival this april. I hope to have pictures to follow. For now I will throw a couple from past Kansas tea events in.

grr, now I see the silly things but they are ABOVE the intro. It might take a while to get this thing down

Oh and Hollix feel free to shrink, remove or spindle any of the pics I put up here as I know we have limited storage space

Next time I will remember to add the photos before the text.


Things I've missed

Blink, blink. Here are some recent Tea Tales by Shuai Chen we managed to overlook.

TEA TALES: Flower teas go well with other teas
10/22/2008 - Chinese tea is not all about those green leaves. There's a small category generally known as flower tea that includes many kinds of flowers you could find in China.

TEA TALES: Esteemed tea began as a mistake
01/21/2009 - Pu'er tea: It has medicinal powers as well as being a tea. It's considered a “drinkable antique.” Its value increases over time, like some stocks.

TEA TALES: Poem tells the story of a friendship
09/03/2008 - Experts in Chinese tea history have concluded that during the Tang Dynasty, there were three events of major significance. One was “The Book of Tea,” written by Lu Yu.