By Tanja Kinnen, FEW Special Events Director
The Way of Tea and the chance to gain deeper insights into this mysterious Japanese tradition brought 15 curious women to attend our special event on a sunny Monday afternoon. The national holiday seemed like the perfect opportunity to get to know more about the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Ruth (Sōshin) Lionberger not only presented a brief introduction on the history of the Japanese tradition of serving tea, but also shared precious life lessons behind the ceremony.
From the moment you walk through the traditional gardens to respectfully crawling through the door of a traditional tea house, every step of the ceremony has been carefully planned to separate you from the outer world and guide you into the inner; as well as take you back to a time of childhood innocence and humility, when the purest of human interactions take place. That’s the original concept of the tea ceremony, which was founded when hierarchies were even more important in Japanese society than they are today.
Indeed, every component of the ceremony is designed around the principles of zen. As the wooden door closes, we leave the outside, temporal world and enter the tea room, empty of all things to bring into focus every detail of the ceremony, from the handling of the instruments to the serving of the wagashi (sweets) and the preparation of the tea.
“There is a man who is so poor that he eats wood and wears clothes made of grass. But his heart is clear like the moon and his mind is calm and nothing disturbs him. If someone asks him, “Where do you live?” he replies, “In the green mountains by the pure water.” – T’ang Dynasty Chinese Priest
Ruth gave us a unique and unconventional opportunity to learn about tea in all its different facets through dialogue and understanding the meaning behind the ceremony. True to her goal of bringing back the origins of the tea ceremony, Ruth was not so much focused on the gestures and manners, but rather on giving us an opportunity to leave behind our busy lives and the world outside, and practice inner contemplation and the four guiding principles: Harmony, Respect, Purity, and Tranquility.
Q&A with Multiculturalism Experts Anjeli Narandran and Louise George Kittaka
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Multiculturalism through Japan’s Eyes,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with two of our speakers, Anjeli Narandran, International Coordinator at Peace Boat, and Louise George Kittaka, a newspaper columnist, university lecturer and cross-cultural trainer featured in The Japan Times and Savvy Tokyo. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal […]Published on 9th October 2017
September 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Share your Passion and Maintain it through Masterminding
26 attendees defied the rain to join The FEW Women’s Start-up Club‘s kick-off meeting of the 2017-2018 year on September 26, 2017. WSC’s goal is to provide resources, support and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs and those who want to become entrepreneurs. We invite everyone to play an active role as WSC is a “business […]Published on 3rd October 2017
October Strategic Partner News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 3rd October 2017
October Community Services Feature: Tokyo Run for the Cure
By Tia Haygood, Community Services Director The Run for the Cure Foundation is a Tokyo based non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating breast cancer in Japan as a life-threatening disease through education, timely screening, and treatment. For over a decade, organizers at Run for the Cure have provided community outreach programs and education initiatives to increase […]Published on 3rd October 2017
How I Got Here: Nicola Vote
I first came to Japan over 20 years ago as a one year exchange student to ICU (International Christian University), courtesy of the University of London, my home university. Several of my friends were taking a year off to travel in Europe or USA. I wanted to go somewhere a little more challenging, and Japan […]Published on 2nd October 2017
Disruptive Innovation: Shifts in Technology
Join us on Nov. 9 as we hear from influential serial entrepreneur Emi Takemura on the disruptive innovations driving unprecedented technological and societal change and our roles in developing "technology fluency."
FEW Members Exclusive Wine Night
Join FEW for our twice-yearly members exclusive wine night, courtesy of Oakwood Premier Midtown. Come along, network and share your stories around a nice glass of wine!
Women's Start Up Club: Marketing with a Purpose
Do you run your own business or are you thinking of starting one? Join the FEW WSC on Nov. 29 to learn top insights into marketing your business.
November Midweek Lunch Mixer- Location To Be Announced
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering. Location to be announced soon!