Tatezome; New Year Tea Gathering
• The Urasenke Chicago Association held the 56th “Tatezome”
New Year Tea Gathering on January 16 at Hendrickson Room in the Arlington
Heights Memorial Library.
• Omar Frances explained about the utensils and demonstrated
a way of tea. After making a bowl of tea, he served it to special guests
Consul Hisao Inagaki and his wife Yuki.
• Everyone who attended the tatezome was served a sweet “hanabira mocha” and a bowl of tea. Hanabira mocha is a special sweet and served only in a new-year-tea ceremony. The sweet was cooked from scratch by the hands of the members.
• Joice Kubose explained about a “tokonoma” or alcove, which was the highest and most sacred place in a room. The tokonoma was decorated in a special way for tatezome.
• The center of the tokonoma was a kakejiku or scroll (see figure 1). The kakejiku was given to the Association from Urasenke’s Grand Master Sen Soshitu, the 15th generation, on its 50th anniversary. All the kanji characters were written by the Grand Master. The top kanji reads “kotobuki” and expresses the meaning of happiness and long life. The bottom kanji is flaming jewel. He will be 93 years old this year, but he is still active and has visited overseas every month.
• The flower arrangement of the tokonoma in tatezome occasion is usually a bunch of birch and a camellia, which expresses dawn.
• The incense holder was in a monkey shape that represented the year of monkey.
• The willow branches that drape down from the top of the alcove represent friendship, unity, and oneness.
• On the table in the tokonama was an offering tray,
which had grains of rice and charcoal placed on a piece of paper, and
• After a tea ceremony, a special new-year-bento lunch
was served, and a short general meeting was held to introduce board members
and teachers, elected officers, as well as review of 2015 events and announcements
of upcoming 2016 events.
Joice Kubose explaines about a “tokonoma” or alcove, which was the highest and most sacred place in a room.