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 tailor Melanie Uematsu
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘One Size Doesn’t Fit All,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with our speaker, tailor Melanie Uematsu. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Hear about women’s love-hate relationship with the fashion industry, why one style doesn’t fit all, and how […]Published on 28th June 2017
June Meeting Recap: A Personal Journey: Japan’s War Brides
By Lisa Matsumoto, Public Relations & Communications Intern Members and guests alike joined FEW’s monthly meeting on June 8th to hear the story of Japanese war brides, a story often overlooked and untold. We welcomed Lucy Craft, a filmmaker and former FEW member in the 80s, to reveal their hidden stories. As a daughter of […]Published on 28th June 2017
May 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Location Independent
The FEW Women’s Start-Up Club (WSC) attracted its largest audience on May 31, 2017, with three panelists sharing how their online-based businesses are succeeding, independent of location. Below are summaries of their presentations. Be sure to check out their sites for more inspiration! The next WSC event is “Mentoring and Networking” on Thursday, June 29. […]Published on 22nd June 2017
FEW Community 2017 Survey – We’d like to hear from you!
FEW has launched its biennial FEW Community 2017 Survey, and we invite all FEW members and friends to take part! The survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. By sharing your feedback, comments and suggestions on FEW programs and events as well as your past and future experiences with FEW, you will help us ensure that we continue to meet our […]Published on 20th June 2017
Event Recap: Mirai no Mori Back to Nature Outdoor Cooking Program
FEW members and friends spent a fantastic day as volunteers at Mirai no Mori’s Back to Nature Program on June 10th. On the outskirts of Tokyo, in beautiful and green Mitake, we met with the staff and volunteer teams of Mirai no Mori and a Saitama children’s home to support a program designed to empower […]Published on 16th June 2017
All Levels Yoga Class by FURLA Yoga
Join us for a relaxing Sunday afternoon yoga session and get energized for the week ahead! Noriko from FURLA Yoga, a FEW Strategic Partner, will teach a hatha yoga class in English for all levels.
FEW & Mirai no Mori Concert for a Cause
We invite all music lovers to join us for a special concert at 2ND HALF in Takadanobaba and enjoy a fun evening filled with great music for a great cause-- supporting FEW Community Services Strategic Partner Mirai no Mori's Back to Nature Program!
One Size Doesn't Fit All
Join us for the last meeting of the current FEW year as we hear from Melanie Uematsu, a tailor, on women’s love-hate relationship with the fashion industry, why one style doesn’t fit all, and how we can solve this issue as individual consumers.