Yesterday for Memorial Day, we had our first virtual chakai at Issoan. The theme was “Then and now.” Since we are still on lock down for the Corona virus in Oregon, we had to do it via Zoom. There were many innovations since the students cannot come to Issoan for lessons, and creative interpretations of “Then and now” were abundant Each student did a temae in their own tea space at home. It was the first time that the students got to see each other’s tea spaces, since I do 1-1 temae lessons and I am the only one who gets to see the tea spaces every week.
We had three special guests, Bruce Hamana-sensei from Kyoto, Heather Loden from Portland, and Karla Tomanka from Austin. Karla was part of our shachu before she went to Midorikai in 2015, and now resides in Austin, Texas. Heather is a student studying in Portland.
One of the things students miss coming to lessons are the sweets I make for them every week. As the gift for the chakai, I made a sweet for them. Each student got a unique sweet.
Most of the students dressed in kimono. All of the students had a choice of which temae to do. We had a variety of temae from Chitose bon with a cookie tin from Costco, to chabako, to hira demae, to a home made nagaita for so kazari. Each student got to talk about their toriawase and tea space, and it was so interesting to see the interpretations of the theme and the stories the students told about their dogu.
The tea bowl was one we used for koicha for many years until it was broken and then repaired with gold lacquer. The mizusashi was another familiar piece that students used many times for okeiko. The chashaku was named “Dokuza” I sit alone, from the saying “Dokuza dai yu ho.” I sit alone on the great sublime peak.”
I love that Minako-sensei is looking down on us above my monitor. She would have loved this endeavor and joined in most enthusiastically.Thank you everyone for the hard work, and beautiful temae and toriawase. I am sure that we will have more of these.