Hatsugama 初釜

Hatsugama is a traditional Japanese event held to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. The term “Hatsugama” translates to “first kettle” in English, referring to the first tea ceremony of the year.

The Hatsugama ceremony is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and tradition, and it holds significant importance in the practice of tea ceremonies, which are known as “chanoyu” or “sado.” The ceremony involves the preparation and serving of matcha, a powdered green tea, in an intricate and highly ritualized manner.

Sydney Japanese International School

SJIS had a Family Fun Day on Saturday, 21 Oct 2023

Children who have been studying tea ceremony
demonstrated their skills in front of parents. In
addition to the four Association members who have
been volunteers at the tea ceremony club (Tomomi
Nakaya, Mihoko Ura, Yoko Sullivan), several other
Association members (Ryoko Freeman, Taeko Pegios,
Yen-Yu Lin, Yumiko Gertler, Yukiko Uchida) attended
the Family Fun Day. Some of the mothers of the
students also assisted on the day. Lunch boxes, snacks
and water were provided by the chado club.
We had beautiful weather, and all the students did
wonderful and confident performances in front of
their parents and other members of the audience.
Most sessions were at capacity.

Everything ran smoothly on the day, thanks to the
wonderful work of all the helpers who attended, and
everyone worked very hard to ensure it was a success.
The money made on the day from the sale of tickets
will be used by the Chado club to buy utensils for the
club, once the tea cost and lunch box cost have been

Sakura matsuri, Cowra, 22 and 23 September

On September 23rd, Urasenke Sydney volunteers from Sydney (Yoshiaki Matsunaga, Ryoko Freeman, Itoko Inoue, Emiko Shirato, Taeko Pegios, Tomomi Nakaya, Takeshi Shibata, Kana Ide), Newcastle (Robert Davies) and Canberra (Kyoko McKay, Takako Mizogami, Lee Walsh, Sachiko Inuzuka, Jayde Ohashi, Nobuyuki Ohashi presented the Japanese Tea Ceremony at the Japanese Garden in Cowra for the Sakura Matsuri Festival. Fortunately, we had a gorgeous day (maximum 21.3oC) after a few days of hot weather. The tea ceremony was very successful. Shuichi Tokuda, Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, with his wife and Yukihiro Ohira, the director of the Japan Foundation attended. However, we had fewer guests, about 160 guests, compared to last year’s 219 guests. Possibly it was because of the recent hot weather, or possibly because the cost of admission was raised to $10 this year.
Anyway, the guests enjoyed our performances and beautiful matcha with handmade Japanese sweets. Our range of sweets was greatly increased and improved by the addition of Mrs Matsunaga’s okashi, which were very popular! When some members were performing the tea ceremony, other members were working hard in the kitchen making yakisoba (stir-fried noodles), so all members were busy. As the Association does every year, the profit will be donated to The Japanese Garden in Cowra.