On Saturday 30 November, we performed Chado Demonstration for Naomi Campbell (British supermodel) at the residence of the Consul General of Japan.
Japanese Government wanted to express its appreciation to Naomi, who has donated A$343,000 to the Tsunami victims. Mr. Toashiaki Kobayashi, Deputy Consul-General of Japan and Mrs. Kobayashi greeted Naomi and took her to the lounge which had a Misono-dana set up. Mrs. Kobayashi did temae nicely and Ryoko Freeman helped serving. Anthony Brien explained during performance. Naomi tasted nerikiri a little bit. She sip a mouthful tea and waited for Mr. Kobayashi receiving tea. She wanted to know how to drink tea properly. Mr. Kobayashi drank one sip and continuously drank at once, so Naomi copied him. She enjoyed green tea.
Demonstration Japanese Tea Ceremony at Eryldene House & Garden
Eryldene was built in 1917 by Professor Waterhouse in the leafy suburb of Gordon. There he pursued his passion for camellias planting, researching and propogating them. Many camellias thrive in the garden to this day and it is known as the spiritual home of camellias in Australia.
The Trust that administers Eryldene organized a “Japanese Art Weekend on 14th and 15th of September. Activities included Displays of Flower Arrangement by the Sogetsu School, Kimino Dressing Demonstration and Parade, Tea Ceremony Demonstration and Shakahatchi Concerts by Riley Lee. Stalls selling camellias, Japanese teas and Antiques were also present.
Most activities were set on the old Tennis Court at the rear of the house. This is a ideal location because along with the perfect spring weather the flat grassed area is surrounded by wisterias,camellias and large trees. A small Chinese style pavillion is set in one side among the camellia bushes. This ambience of the location was both relaxed and conducive to Cultural Exchange.
Three tatami were installed in the pavillion along with bamboo screens, flowers, scroll and appropriate dogu. A small audio system assisted the narrator.
Demonstrations were held on both days at 1 p.m.
The small Saturday audience was a little difficult to engage, however the larger Sunday audience was very interested. Many people requested to be served tea on the tatami and three groups were shown how to whisk their own bowls of tea! In all about 40 bowls of tea were served.
On Sunday we gave chado demonstrations at the Sutherland Coffee Festival. There were many food and coffee stalls in a park. We set up misono-dana in the Japanese garden that Sutherland sister city’s Chuo-ku donated. It was a warm day and many people turned up.
We did chado demonstrations ten times between 10 am and 4 pm. Anthony explained energetically as usual, and Mikako, Megumi and Masako did temae and hanto. Keiko Hosoda did hanto too. Chado demonstration caught many peoples’ interest, but tasting matcha is less attractive because of the hot weather.
On Sunday we had a study day at the residence of Itoko Inoue. Sixteen members participated. Itoko and three members showed us “kuchi-kiri” (opening tea-jar).
Several years ago, Daisosho sent us a Chatsubo, which contained hacha (tea leaves). This was a great opportunity to see the inside of the chatsubo (tea jar).
Itoko explained what Kuchi-kiri means. Yuiko Maeno undertook the teishu role and handled the chatsubo (tea jar) to cut its lid. She took out the tea bag, which guests asked for. Yukiko Cooksley and Shizue Watkins undertook the guest role. During the performance, Itoko gave explanations in detail. After completing part of kuchi-kiri no chaji, Itoko showed us how to grind tea. Unfortunately, we could not taste the tea leaves from the jar, but at least we tried to grind the sencha.
After the performance, we enjoyed matcha and sweets together.
We had Seminar by Daisosho and Oteicha (Tea ceremony) on Monday 6 May at Maritime Museum.
Daisosho gave a lecture “Peace and the Spirit of Tea” in the Theatre of the Australian National Maritime Museum packed to its 250 capacity. Everyone was impressed by Daisosho’s talk. He explained when Kurakazu gyotei-sensei showed temae with three Australian guests.
After the lecture we had tea ceremony (teicha) in a Terrace room. Daisosho looked at the Sydney setting, crab soup tureen on a surfboard, made his eyes widely open with happy smile. He also visited mizuya and looked at the sweets, a pair of koalas (nerikiri, Japanese moist cake) in a golden boat made by members. He was so pleased and clapped his hands.
On Sunday, we had a beautiful Celebration Dinner at Park Hyatt Hotel. The 111 guests included HE Yoshitaka Akimoto (Japanese Ambassador), The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP (Minister for Transport), Mr. & Mrs. Pauline Gandel (the president of Melbourne Association). The Association gave a statue of a horse, which is his favourite, to Daisosho for his 90th birthday present.