50 Anos da Cerimonia do Cha Urasenke do Brasil 2004

Urasenke Brazil 50th Anniversary

Ryurei tea service at May 20

2004 tea gathering.

This year, 2004, is the 50th anniversary of Urasenke's official presence in Brazil. In celebration, Urasenke followers in and around the nation's largest city, São Paulo, have been busy with many special activities. The first of these was a commemorative tea gathering held under the auspices of the Japanese Consulate General in São Paulo and jointly sponsored by the Urasenke Brazil Branch and Brazilian Society for Japanese Culture (Sociedade Brasileira de Cultura Japonesa) on May 20, 2004, at the Japanese Pavilion within Ibirapuera Park. This impressive park, including its Japanese pavilion, was inaugurated in 1954, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city. The formal opening of the pavilion and tearoom located inside of it was the event that occasioned the visit of SEN Genshitsu Hounsai, then still known as SEN Soko, together with his younger brother NAYA Yoshiharu, fifty years ago, and the beginning of Urasenke's official activities in Brazil. The May 20th tea gathering this year simultaneously celebrated the 50th anniversary of the pavilion and of Urasenke in Brazil. Approximately forty Urasenke chado students and teachers coordinated efforts to receive the 250 invited guests for tea in the traditional-style tearoom, ryurei tea in the garden, and the nice tenshin meal they had arranged.

In June, a book entitled DO -- A Essencia da Cultura Japonesa / Michi to shite no Nihon Bunka, written in Portuguese and Japanese and funded by dozens of local sponsors, was published, and the Urasenke Brazil Branch played a key role in realizing this.

    The inaugural reception for the Japan Weeks 2004 organized by the Japanese Consulate combined with it the publication party. It took place on the eve of the five-day initial event of the Japan Weeks program, June 4, at the Bank Réal Hall in São Paulo, with nearly one thousand citizens attending. The five-day initial Japan Weeks program showcased various Japanese cultural "ways" and was primarily sponsored by the Urasenke Brazil Branch and Ikebana Association of Brazil, in cooperation with the Consulate. The Urasenke members mounted an exhibition of photo panels and tea utensils to introduce the Way of Tea, and conducted chanoyu demonstrations three times a day in the portable tearoom which they had erected in the Bank Real Hall.

Urasenke Exhibition at Bank Réal. Stage for chanoyu demonstrations at Bank Réal.

    In August, the members will present a chanoyu demonstration program at the Club Pinheiros Theater in São Paulo, and in September, approximately thirty will travel to Mexico to join with the other Urasenke groups in Latin America and those coming to participate from other parts of the globe, for the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Latin America Convention in Mexico, celebrating the golden anniversaries of all the Urasenke affiliates in this world region.

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