Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cha-no-yu Demonstration, Nov. 2012

Full of inspiration from attending Hakone Daichakai, we offered a demonstration of Cha-no-yu at the Ink People Center for the Arts on Nov. 4. We were quite pleased to recognize some familiar faces. One new attendee was a student of Eureka High School who is working diligently to reestablish Sister Cities relations between Eureka, Calif., and Kamisu, Japan. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Moon in a Thousand Waters: Hakone Daichakai 2012

In late October we attended the annual Daichakai at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, Calif. — a large, multi-school tea gathering. We attended presentations by Omotesenke, Urasenke and Mushakojisenke schools, plus one from a small, relatively new school, Dainippon Chadogakkai which, as they put it, takes the best from the larger schools. We were able to attend a seki (seating) in the three-mat tea house, Shougetsu-an, in which the Dainippon Chadogakkai presentations were given. The tiny tea house was much too intimate to accommodate photography, but our other seki are represented below and in this album.

Lovely kimono in the garden

Mushakojisenke presentation, Lower House
Kakemono "Koro Koro"

Aka Fuji natsume, lacquered by Nakamura Sotetsu
Mushakojisenke presentation, Lower House

Wagashi in the shape of a chrysanthemum
Urasenke presentation, Wisteria Pavilion

New tech meets tradition
Urasenke presentation, Wisteria Pavilion

Kakemono "One moon reflected in a thousand waters."
Urasenke presentation in the Wisteria Pavilion
overlooking the koi pond and Moon Bridge.

Arrangement in the waiting room
Omotesenke presentation, Lower House Roji

Omotesenke presentation, Lower House Roji

Kakemono "One moon reflected in a thousand waters."
Omotesenke presentation, Lower House Roji

Monday, November 12, 2012

Green Haiku

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture is seeking up to four (4) poets to create Haikus or short poetry to broaden public thinking about reuse, recycling and a greener environment. The poems will be featured as part of the annually-changing art panels at Seventh Avenue and West Glenrosa Street and on an art billboard devoted to images about recycling along Grand Avenue. The “Green” Haiku will be displayed at these and possibly other sites for at least one year.

Deadline:  Friday, December 7, 2012, 4:00 PM Arizona time

To download the full call go to (You will be asked to fill out a short Web form.  This is so we can contact you should any changes be made to the RFQ. Once completed, a PDF document will open).

For questions please contact Jeanine Garcia, Public Art Project Assistant at 602-534-5084, email

For questions concerning the procurement process please contact Scott Steventon at 602-534-8334, email

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Searchlight Serenade: Big Bands in the Japanese American Incarceration"

This week, instead of regular okeiko, or practice, we went to see the premiere of "Searchlight Serenade: Big Bands in the Japanese American Incarceration." Producers Claire Reynolds and Sam Greene of our local PBS affiliate, KEET-TV, collaborated with local artist Amy Uyeki. Together they created a touching documentary which tells the stories of former internees who played music in the camps through interviews along with historical footage of the camps. 

Click here for more information about the documentary.

An animated segment based on actual events involving jazz bands in the camps was created by artist Amy Uyeki whose parents were both interned with their families at Gila River and Minidoka Internment Camps. The animation was created from woodblocks done in a traditional Japanese style, bringing to life some of the occurrences that happened with the bands in the camps.

"Searchlight Serenade" premiered Oct. 30 on KEET-TV and at Humboldt State University as part of the 15th Annual Campus Dialogue on Race.

Your local PBS affiliate can broadcast this film!

Contact your PBS station and let them know that KEET-TV is making this film available to them. They can download the documentary on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET, HD04. For more information, contact Claire Reynolds by email or at (707) 445-0813.

You can also purchase DVDs for yourself, schools or library for $25 from KEET-TV.

The four of us gave it two eight thumbs up!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oregon Tea Journey

Our summer road trip through Oregon was about catching up with family and friends — and meeting new friends too. We were fortunate to be able to enjoy a little Tea and learn some lessons along the way.

The first leg of our trip was a weekend in Bend, Ore., with family. We dined on sushi one night and recipes from the French Laundry cookbook the next. Enjoyed a museum and a brewery. No Cha-no-yu, but a great visit.

Next stop: Portland and Forestville. We stayed with friends in Forestville who have a lovely three-mat chashitsu in the living room. Their energetic ten-year-old twins also enjoy tea. To be invited into a friends' tea room is an honor and a pleasure.

Chashitsu at friends' house in Forestville, Oregon.
Preparing for chabako temae,
Forestville, Oregon

We had but one day to inhale Portland. (This is not recommended. It takes more than a day to enjoy that beautiful city.) Our itinerary was three stops: The Portland Japanese Gardens, a street-food lunch from a food truck pod and a one-hour blitz through Powell's.

Tea garden
Portland Japanese Gardens

Tea house
Portland Japanese Gardens

Tea house
Portland Japanese Gardens

Portland Japanese Gardens

Portland Japanese Gardens

On our last day in Portland we were invited by Marjorie Yap to her lovely Issoan tea room and tea school. Earlier in the year, when we were beginning to consider where we would go on our vacation, I tossed out the question to Facebook friends: "San Francisco or Portland?" Marjorie, whom I'd only "met" online, replied, "I'll make you tea if you come to Portland." And she did! A Facebook friend became a real friend.

Issoan "One Grass Hut"
Portland, Oregon

After the heat of Bend and Portland (the temp was climbing toward 100° the day we left), it was a relief to head West to the coolness of the coast. One night of camping, two nights at a vacation rental, three days of beach bummin' and hanging out.

Camping, Beachside State Park,
Waldport, Oregon

Cheddar Bear and his Do Matcha are now part of (Maybe he's cute enough to win us a free tin of matcha!)

Tsunami debris watch signs, Beachside State Park,
Waldport, Oregon

Harmony on the beach.
Waldport, Ore.

Our way home, heading south on Highway 101, we stopped in Yachats for a cup of coffee … and what the heck is that? Chawan? Matcha? Nice! And fair prices too.

Matcha, sencha and chawan at Ye Olde Green Salmon
Yachats, Oregon

And there's matcha on the menu?

Matcha on the menu! Ye Olde Green Salmon,
Yachats, Oregon

How often does one have the opportunity to have a bowl of matcha at a commercial establishment in the U.S.? The coffee drinks looked great. The food smelled fabulous. I shushed my inner voice and decided to try it.

As I stared at my enormous, full-to-the-brim, scalding hot bowl of too-thin thin tea, I was reminded of a story that Marjorie had told us just a few days earlier about her experience with a minimally-trained person offering tastes of an American-label matcha at a promotional event. The maker added a small scoop of matcha to a tea bowl, filled it up with hot water and lightly swooshed the whisk through it. Marjorie politely declined to drink any of that tea, seeing that it would be too watery and whisked inadequately.

Matcha at Ye Olde Green Salmon
Yachats, Oregon
Harvey-sensei ordered espresso. Next time I will too.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"To the top!"

(Thanks to our friend Kumi for sharing this!)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some poems from Hakone

Fern's autumn shadow
single dark arrow pierces.
Stop. Leaving roji

forgotten ladle
basin purifies with song
shadow leaves bamboo

“Hanto! Another sweet!”
Quickly so the guest can be calm
Warm fall our alcove

The sound of incense
tells me there is something beautiful here.
Sometimes I forget

Outside not inside
a special host just for us
Inside not outside

Can’t climb the hill again
I'll follow from here and
Beat you to the top

Mushakouji Senke
Tea family of Rikyu
no room left to fin---

“Ice”ing on the couch
rain sounds on a sunny day
kitten heating pad

— Oct.17, 2011 by Harvey II
Inspired by the Daichakai at Hakone Gardens,
Saratoga, Calif., Oct.16, 2011

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Arcata Peace Lantern Ceremony

“When the student is ready,
the teacher will appear.” 
— Buddhist proverb 

Humboldters mark the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a floating lantern ceremony of peace and remembrance, and have done so for 30 years, yet this was our first time attending. The occasion was marked with song and poetry, and a special recognition of Kyoko Clark — a native of Kyushu, Japan, and long-time Humboldt resident — who was in attendance at the area's first peace lantern ceremony. 

People gathering at the edge of Klopp Lake at the Arcata Marsh …

… were welcomed by flute songs.

Kyoko Clark (left) received special recognition for 30 years
of participation in the lantern ceremony.

As dusk falls, the lanterns are lit  …

… and set adrift, one by one.

Visit Facebook for more photos:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Float a Lantern for Peace

Hiroshima lantern ceremony,

Sunday's Cha-no-yu demonstration was attended by a couple involved in the annual Lantern Floating Ceremony in Arcata, Calif. Some details from the North Coast Journal:

The community is invited to the annual Lantern Floating Ceremony at Klopp Lake at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sactuary on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. As in past years, lantern making materials and help will be available on the northwest side of the Arcata Plaza during the Farmers’ Market on the morning before the ceremony.

Lantern floating ceremonies have been traditional in Japan for many centuries. An event is held annually in Hiroshima to honor those who suffered and died in the bombing, but long before that, the lanterns carried messages of loving remembrance of friends and family who have passed away. Arcata’s ceremony has expanded to include this older meaning, as well as being a time for our community to rededicate itself to peace.

Everyone is invited to gather at the lake for a program including music and poetry, followed at dusk by the launching of the lanterns.

This year's event will also honor Kyoko Clark for her participation in the first Arcata Lantern Ceremony, 30 years ago. For information, call (707) 826-7233. Click here for map.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Outdoor Tea, Presented Indoors

We presented a demonstration of Cha-no-yu on Sunday at the Ink People Center for the Arts. Nearly 20 people joined us -- a fascinating and diverse group that included the tea buyer for our local co-op, a couple involved in the Arcata Lantern Ceremony (see follow-up post), and two young ladies came in kimono and yukata!

The temae, or procedure, that we demonstrated was Chabako, "Picnic Tea," meant to be enjoyed outdoors.

Presentation of Chabako Japanese tea ceremony,
July 29, 2012 at the Ink People Center for the Arts.

Harvey-sensei discusses the procedure and answers questions.

Kristin preparing tea in the mizuya.
Kristin, Pia and Holly made bowls of tea for the guests
while Harvey-sensei answered questions.

Kristin and Pia hard at work in the mizuya: hard-working and adorable!

Plans are in the works for our autumn demonstration.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's Not a Mistake, It's a New Obi Knot!

Pia tied this obi for Kristin and discovered a new knot!
Laura's obi kept staring at me.
Pia's obi
Chabana of thyme-leaf fuschia and white campanula.
The campanula remind me of little stars in celebration of Tanabata.
(Too bad I didn't take the photo before they began to wilt.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chabana with Sleeping Cat

Chabana: azalea and Japanese maple in Laura's new vase
In Nikko they say, "The sparrow is safe as long as the cat is asleep." In our house, it's the flowers.