On September 11th I had the special pleasure to participate in a Tea Ceremony at Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Illinois. Kimiko Gunji, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Japan House, performed the ceremony.
For me the most memorable part of the ceremony actually took place before we began. When Gunji Sensei first came into the tea room she asked us all to take a moment of silence in remembrance of all those who lost loved ones in the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and also in thankfulness for all that we have, despite life’s difficulties.
An interesting kensui (waste water container) was used for the ceremony. Typical I only see kensui made metal or occasionally ceramic. This one was made of bamboo and at the start of the ceremony the tea bowl, chakin, whisk, and tea scoop were brought out inside the kensui. Usually, the kensui is brought out empty with the hisaku (ladle) on top of it. I asked Gunji Sensei about it afterwards. She said this type of ceremony is often performed when it is necessary for the host to remain seated throughout ceremony and not leave the room. The wider bamboo kensui accommodates carrying out all the utensils one time instead of multiple trips to and from the tea room.
Blake ( -_-)_υ