Monday, August 27, 2018

Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival 2018

Seattle's 43rd Annual Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival took place April 20th through 22nd at Seattle Center.  The festival is always something to look forward to, filled with music and dance, demonstrations, workshops, vendors, and food.  

Tea Ceremony by Tanko Kai

Narration was provided by Aiko Fuji who introduced Tanko Kai tea instructor Naomi Takemura and shared a brief history of tea and the development of powdered tea, as well as explaining various elements of tea ceremony. 

Japanese tea ceremony is called Chado which means "way of tea" and Chanoyu which means "water for tea".  For usucha (thin/informal tea) each guest will receive their own bowl and may take as many sips as needed to empty the bowl.  For koicha (thick/formal tea) one bowl is shared among the guests so each will take just three sips.  While handling the hishaku (ladle), the host uses movements drawn from archery.  The open hand movement seen after filling the bowl with water indicates tea is in the bowl.

For this demonstration, the host (Teishu) was Atsuko Harmer with first guest (Shokyaku) Kaoru Green and second guest (Kyaku) Megumi Holcolm.  The scroll reads "flowers open all over".  The chawan (tea bowl) is Hagi ware, a style originating from Korean potters with earth tone or white glaze.

Okinawa Kenjin Kai

The afternoon performance featured high-energy drumming, sanshin music and song, traditional dance, and lion dance.

Fujima Ensemble

The days events concluded with a shamisen performance, a dance describing the boats on the Sumida River, and excerpts from Musume Dojoji.

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