Members and guests of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii welcomed 2015, the “Year of the Sheep,” with its traditional Hatsudate Shiki, or first tea of the year. The ceremony was held Jan. 19 in the Seikoan Tea House at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i.

Prior to entering the teahouse, guests purified themselves by washing their hands and mouth with water that had been drawn from a stone fountain in the courtyard.

The first ceremony was officiated by teishu (tea ceremony host) Mayuko Hirota and hanto (assistant and narrator) Takemi Nakasone. Guests included Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and his wife, Michiko; Chado Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association president Akemi Kurokawa and his wife Misako; Japan-America Society of Hawaii president Lenny Yajima; Satoru Izutsu, Ph.D., vice dean and director of admissions for the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine; Mary MacDonald, director of the UH-Mänoa Center for Japanese Studies; Rika Hirata, president of the United Japanese Society of Hawaii and Brian Watase, president of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce.

The ceremony was followed by an osechi ryöri lunch of traditional Japanese New Year’s foods.


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