Thanks to a grant from the Japan Foundation, Urasenke Sydney was able to demonstrate chado to the public and run workshops for school students in Cowra during the shire’s Koyo Matsuri festival on 3rd and 4th May.

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.