Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pinkies Up!

Tea creates a convivial atmosphere wherein we make new friends. One such friend is Stephanie, a lovely lady who has come to our monthly Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstrations. She invited us to an English tea party in celebration of England's Prince William's wedding to Katherine Middleton.

With pinkies extended, we enjoyed her hospitality with "cheering, jeering and a great smearing of jams" on home-made English muffins while tipping back cups of black tea. There were some familiar faces. We enjoyed making some new friends and reconnected with a woman who studied Cha-no-yu with us more than 20 years ago. What a wonderful afternoon!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Google Doodles celebrates significant anniversaries and holidays from around the world with Google Doodles. Here are some we collected from earlier this year.

Mar 03, 2011 Girl's Day - (Japan)

Feb 28, 2011 Li Bai's Birthday - (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)

Feb 26, 2011 100th Birthday of Taro Okamoto - (Japan)

Feb 17, 2011 Lantern Festival - (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)

Feb 12, 2011 Naomi Uemura's 70th Birthday - (Japan)

Feb 03, 2011 Lunar New Year's - (China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan)

Jan 20, 2011 Birthday of Takayanagi Kenjiro - (Japan)

Jan 10, 2011 Coming of Age Day - (Japan)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Veterans For Peace To Host Peace Poetry Celebration

April 25  – Arcata, CA – Dozens of Humboldt high school students have submitted their poems about peace, the abolition of war, hate or violence, or peacemaking in our communities, and have been invited to read their works at the 2011 Peace Poetry Celebration hosted by Veterans For Peace Chapter 56 at 7pm on May 6 at the Unitarian Universalists’ Meeting Hall, 23 Fellowship Way in Bayside, Calif. The event is free and open to the public.

Cash prizes will be awarded to five poets, and all poems submitted will be published in the Redwood Coast Peace Poetry Anthology. Poets will receive a free copy of the Anthology, which will also be made available for sale after the event through VFP Chapter 56. Copies will also be donated to local schools and libraries.

The Redwood Coast Peace Poetry Contest is sponsored by Humboldt Bay Chapter 56 of Veterans For Peace, Humboldt Unitarian Universalists Fellowship, and the Humboldt Chapter of the Buddhist Peace.

For more information, see or contact Jon Reisdorf at (707) 822-4595 or; or Carl Stancil at (707) 616-6405 or

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tea Ceremony Demonstration and Ohanami


Blessed with perfect weather and beautiful cherry trees, we shared tea with about 15 people on Eureka's Gazebo in Old Town. Harvey-sensei performed Chabako-temae ("tea box" or "pic-nic box" procedure), and Laura, Holly and Pia assisted.

Our gratitude to Kay White who first suggested this idea, to Laura and Pia who are ever-stellar hanto, and to everyone who came to share a beautiful spring morning with us!

More photos here:!897  (Thank you Jim and Kay!)

and here: (Thank you Laura!)


Published April 14, 2011 in the Times-Standard, our local
daily newspaper,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Busshôe, April 8

"Every temple celebrates Buddha's birthday. Since Buddha is said to have declared at the moment of his birth, 'I am my own Lord throughout heaven and earth,' a Buddhist statue [or its picture], with is right hand pointing to heaven and left hand to earth, is placed in a basin, and based upon the legent that he was given his first bath by Hachidai Ryûô (The God of Eight Big Dragons) with honeydew, ama-cha (tea of heaven or hydrangea tea) is poured over the statue. This is called kambutsu, and the place where this takes place is called hana-mido (a flower chapel) as it is decorated with flowers. It is celebrated on May 8th in some districts, but April may be preferable because there is a larger variety of flowers blooming in April and this provides us with more merriment when we put the kettle on."
-- Sasaki Sanmi, "Chado"

Blessing Buddha with ama-cha at Ueno Park's Kiyomizu Kannon-Do, Tokyo.

Hana-mido (center of photo) at Kita-in temple (specifically, Narita-san
Shin-shoji) in Kawagoe. At right is a statue of Binzuru.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tea Ceremony Demonstration and Possible Cherry Blossom Viewing

Our next demonstration of Japanese Tea Ceremony is April 10. Weather permitting, we're considering gathering on the Old Town Gazebo to appreciate the blooming cherry trees and enjoy some tea. (Unofficially, of course.)

Our usual meeting place is at the Ink People Center for the Arts, 517 3rd Street, Suite 36, Eureka, Calif. (on the 3rd floor, an elevator is available). The Gazebo is two blocks away, at 2nd and F streets. View map here. Interested? Start at the Ink People, we'll post signs to indicate where the gathering will take place.

Today's weather forecast does not include next Sunday's weather, but it looks as if weather will improve toward the weekend. I'm not entirely confident in the forecast, however, since this weekend's forecast was entirely wrong. Springtime weather in Eureka is anybody's guess, but that's part of the fun.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


A hypnotic pink froth entrances young and old, 
Lures us into parks and down tree-lined allées, 
Invites us to pause in the shower of delicate petals 
And drink our fill of spring.

Kyoto, Japan

Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan

Sakura to go, Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan

Celebrating the Buddha's birth, Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan

Sankei-en, Yokohama, Japan

Salted cherry blossoms

Wagashi shaped like a cherry blossom

Sakura mochi, Kyoto-style
More photos here: