Sansui kai (third-Wednesday-meeting):
Japanese tea ceremony is not a religious act but it is highly influenced by Zen philosophy and has a lot of meaning and cultural value. Its elegance and delicate preparation goes all the way back to times of samurai and humble monks and gives us insights on what is cherished in Japanese culture. It is believed that meeting a guest is a possibility that may never repeat itself in the future. Sharing a tea has a spiritual meaning of savoring the moment, realizing its transiency, enjoying the inner peace and bonding with a guest. It has a symbolic significance and is one of the major principles of Japanese hospitality. Join us for this fascinating talk and learn how a simple act like tea making can help you to slow down, absorb the imperfection of what is in life and take a moment to rebuild your own sense of balance.
SPEAKER – Akemi Tanaka
Akemi Tanaka is a writer, lecturer and consultant on Japanese culture based in London. As the daughter of an old samurai family, Akemi grew up immersed in the traditional arts and culture of Japan. In addition to her university education, Akemi attended the Tchiyoda Gakuin Finishing School, where she formally studied Occidental and Oriental etiquette. Since coming to the UK, Akemi has organised many Japanese cultural events in London: she has dressed Kelly Osbourne in a kimono for a magazine photo shoot, performed a tea ceremony for the Lord Mayor of London and assisted a prince of the Japanese imperial family with a speech to an international gathering of martial artists. Akemi is the author of the forthcoming ‘The Power of Chowa’, a book which explores the Japanese concept of chowa, often translated as ‘harmony’, but more accurately means ‘the search for balance’. She has appeared on the BBC and Channel 4 and also featured in The Guardian and The Telegraph. In her presenting and consulting, Akemi aims to promote awareness and appreciation of authentic Japanese culture in an accessible and enjoyable manner. Akemi is active in the worlds of business, diplomacy, education and the arts where she strives to combine traditional beliefs, such as Bushido, with the best of modern technology and ideas.