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Event Album: Tea Ceremony Demo at Warwick Library: 05/17/2014
Event Note

 05/17/14 Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony Demo at Warwick Library

This was our 2nd program for the Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration at the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, demonstrating Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. 25 people had reserved though not all showed up, and about 15 more came as observer. We did 2 Usucha-otemae; first one served by (Matsubayashi) Yoko-san assisted by Atsuko-san as Ohanto-san while narrated by Miyake-san. During 2nd Otemae by Atsuko-san, we had Honda-san and Miyake-san demonstrated casual otemae at 2 separate side-tables serving one person at a time. In the back, while Chikako-san was preparing for Matcha tea in each bowl for the rest of the reserved guests, both Yamato-san and I were busy as assistant. We served each reserved guests tea in a Chaki (Matcha bowl) so they could enjoy a little bit of the formality. I am proud to tell everyone it was Honda-san's first demonstration of his otemae in public for which he had studied from DVD, and he brought his own Obon-date set to complete his well-practiced form. I must apologize that I was so busy in the back that I completely forgot to take photos of his first debut.

I thought we had very well planned the entire program in advance, but the 2 demos were over only one hour later when we realized most guests were already gone. I must admit, it was very strange feeling as if your audience had left in the middle of your show because they didn't like it. But that wasn't our case - according to the library director, Ms. Cooper, everybody looked very satisfied when they left. As a matter of fact, many asked questions during demonstration. Many were very impressed and gave us high compliment especially on the Chagashi, traditional-style Japanese dessert delicately created, again, by Atsuko-san. One lady said it reminded her of a very sophisticated store on the Fifth Avenue. The other one asked me if she could have another piece to whom I kindly declined.

Every event has own character and each are different. We learn something new each time, and we enjoy finding more and more people interested in our culture. It's not that every Japanese know how to serve the traditional tea ceremony otemae. It takes dedication and time to learn those strictly choreographed but extremely sophisticated and beautiful forms. It is our honor to have volunteer members who offered their knowledge in our program at these occasions. We also should never forget that without back support by the rest of the volunteers we wouldn't be able to provide our tea demo in this scale. I thank all our volunteers for their great team-work again. One of our members, Polly-san, who is also a representative of Arts Mid-Hudson was there as a guest. I thank Polly-san for her always-positive opinion and encouragement on our programs. I would also like to express our sincere gratitude, again, to Rosemarie Cooper, director, and Kathleen Georgalas, assistant to director, of Warwick Library for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of their great event.

Midori Shinye
Project Leader of Warwick Tea Demo
 WarwickアルバートワイズナーパブリックライブラリーのAsian/Pacific Islander Heritage Celebrationでの2番目のプログラムは茶道デモでした。25席の予約は満席のはずでしたが数名が欠席。ただし約15名がオブザーバーとして来ていましたので何名かの希望者にお茶をお出ししました。今回は薄茶のお手前を2回に分けて、1回目は(松林)洋子さんによるお手前、篤子さんがお半東さんで三宅さんがナレーター。2回目のお手前は篤子さんにやって頂いて、同時に本多さんと三宅さんに2つのサイドテーブルでカジュアルなお手前をして頂きました。裏方は千佳子さんが残りの予約席に座っているゲスト一人ひとりに抹茶茶碗でお茶が出せるように用意して頂いている中大和さんと私はヘルパー。少しでもフォーマルな茶道を楽しんで頂ける様茶器で抹茶を味わって頂けて良かったと思います。実は今回はDVDを見て短期間でお手前を身につけた本多さんの初舞台でして、ご自分で揃えたというお盆建てセットを持って来て頂いて立派に披露して頂きました。あまりにもバタバタしていた為に本多さんの初舞台を写真に撮りそこねたので大変残念なことです。 プログラムは前もってしっかり組んでいたつもりでしたが、1時間後には終ってしまっていていつの間にかゲストの方々もいなくなっていることに気付きました。もしかしたら皆さん退屈されたのかなとちょっと不安になりましたが、ライブラリーディレクターのMs. Cooperさん曰く誰もが満悦していたそうです。確かにデモ中に沢山の質問がありましたし、何人かの方々からおほめの言葉を頂きました。特に篤子さんのまたまたデリケートに作られた茶菓子は大変喜ばれ、ある人は5番街の和菓子の老舗を思い出したそうです。別の女性からは「もうひとつ頂けないかしら」とねだられましたが丁寧にお断りしました。 どのイベントもそれぞれ個性があります。また毎回何かを学ぶことができます。益々日本のカルチャーに興味を持っている方々が多いことに気付きました。日本人誰もが茶道をしっているわけではなく、伝統的で洗練されたフォームを本格的に学ぶには真剣な心構えと時間を必要とします。それらの知識をこの様なイベントで発表してくださるボランティアの方々がいて下さって本当に名誉なことです。またバックでサポートをして下さるボランティアの方々がいて下さって初めてこの様な規模のデモが出きることを忘れないで頂きたいものです。ボランティアの皆様改めてすばらしいチームワークを発揮して頂いて本当に有難うございました。それから我々のメンバーでもありまたArts Mid-HudsonのPollyさんもゲストとしてきていまして、いつもの如く力強い励ましの言葉を頂きました。最後にWarwickライブラリーのディレクターであるRosemarie CooperさんとアシスタントディレクターのKathleen Georgalasさんにこの様なすばらしいイベントに参加させて頂いたこと、改めて心から御礼を申し上げます。 新江 緑 Warwick Library Tea Demo プロジェクトリーダー 
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