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AGM & Members’ Day – Let’s Enjoy Japanese Culture!

The AGM was held on Saturday 25th March, 2017.
The program includes Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese-style buffet lunch, and a special lecture “A FANFARE FOR SPRING” by Ms Marion Maule.

               (Click on an image to enlarge it)

Tea Ceremony

Following the AGM, an enjoyable, hands-on introduction to tea ceremony was provided by Ms. Soko Takai of the Urasenke Foundation London school. According to the seminal Cha Do (Way of Tea) by Sen no Rikyu, harmony and rustic simplicity are central themes. Takai-san and her kimono clad assistants ritually prepared “thin” matcha tea for us. We became quiet as we watched, and we listened to the whisking and other delicate sounds of the ceremony. The elegance of the ritual, incorporating traditional utensils such as a kettle-sized brazier and a bamboo whisk, and expressive aspects such as a single-character calligraphy scroll and a single camellia blossom, spoke to our hearts. Takai-san lifted our tea ceremony experience to a plane beyond the merely delicious. 

Casual Japanese-style buffet lunch

Following the Tea Ceremony, we were treated to some authentic Japanese cuisine created by Sogetsu members. Crowd pleasers such as yakitori and freshly made sushi were offered. Also scrumptious were classic vegetable salads with seaweed, lotus root, burdock root, and not-easy-to-find-outside-Japan konnyaku – some of my personal favourites. 

Japanese Fans

Next came a playful and informative presentation on Japanese fans by doyenne Ms. Marion Maule. We learned that the ingenious folding fan was invented in Japan over 1,000 years ago. Fixed style fans were also part of the extensive and colourful display that Ms. Maule generously shared from her personal collection. Fans have been integral to Japanese culture, and still touch many facets of society. They are often decorated with evocative cultural symbols. Adorning and air-cooling properties of fans are fundamental. But fans have also been objects of choice for a range of purposes: as vehicles for advertising, as sacred objects in religious ceremonies, as canvases for poetry or art, or as keepsakes. What a captivating talk!

(The article – by Mrs Anne Campbell)

Last edited by Ikuyo Morrison on April 23, 2017 at 10:07 am>