Friday, April 27, 2012

Meet Drew Sodo Hanson

The featured speaker at the MATBA seminar was Drew Sodo Hanson, a practitioner of the Urasenke Tradition of Japanese Tea since 1995 and a licensed teacher in this tradition. Drew owns Boukakuan, a Japanese Tea house and Garden, open by appointment only, and located in Burlington County, NY.
In addition, he demonstrates the Japanese Tea Ceremony at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, a traditional style Japanese house and nationally ranked garden located in Fairmont Park, Philadelphia where he also teaches the Japanese Way of Tea (Chado).  Drew explained that the tea ceremony is a social and cultural event where the host strives to serve the best bowl of tea at that moment.  And the host also strives to make the guests feel at ease.  The ceremony is presented with an open heart and received by the guests with gratefulness.

Drew shared the various utensils utilized in the Japanese Tea Ceremony from his extensive collection.  In the picture above, he is scooping the powdered green tea (Matcha), using a tea scoop (Chashaku), placing the tea in the tea bowl (Chawan) in preparation for whisking it, using a special bamboo whisk (Chasen).

Displayed here, to the right, is a collection of Kogo, or incense containers.  Shown below, a plate of Traditional Japanese Tea Sweets, or Okashi, presented on a Sweet Tray, or Kaishi.
The study of the Japanese Tea Ceremony is a detailed and continuing process. Tea becomes a meditation, a contemplative time to cultivate your spirit.  As you learn more about the tea ceremony, you discover that it is very deliberate and very choreographed so that you focus your mind on what you're doing.  It becomes a moving meditation for the guests and hosts where the conversation is very light and mellow but at the same time you are creating a bond between the participants of the tea ceremony.  Serving a bowl of tea and reaching out to the guests. For additional information about the Japanese Tea Ceremony, please visit Drew's website, here.
A special thank you to Drew for his delightful presentation and informative introduction into the equipage that is used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony.  Each tea gathering is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 
   Ichi-go ichi-e. (Treasure every encounter.)


Steph said...

Beautiful! I'm learning that the boxes are carefully and lovingly made, too.

Angela McRae said...

I hope I get to participate in such a class one day!