A Japanese Tea Ceremony

On 10 May 2016, organised and carried out by Mari Fujiyama with our Japanese members and their supporters, the Japanese Tea Ceremony held in Dahlem's Ethnological Museum for the English Conversation group distilled the exquisiteness of Japanese culture into one enchanting hour. An authentic Japanese tea room set the scene for the highly symbolic ceremony marked by unhurried movement, solemnity and grace.

In the accompanying narrative, we learned that the essence of the ceremony performed by kimono-clad and foot-gloved ladies, is the enjoyment of life's precious moments by acknowledging the minimalist beauty of the decoration to preparing, pouring, receiving and savouring matcha (green) tea and sweets. Spectators were offered steaming bowls of the thick green brew and sweets at the end of the ceremony.

A brief tour of the museum's unique collections, guided by Dr. Alexander Hofmann, the head of the museum's East Asia collection, preceded the delicious "bento" box lunch enjoyed while conversing about our own experiences with tea.