Back in October My Green Tea had the opportunity to participate in a special tea ceremony designed by our beloved and talented friend, Yuri Kinoshita. Hosted by Pottery Northwest, Yuri had worked closely with Wally Bivins and Yoshi Kawamura for this event.
Words cannot describe this serene atmosphere she created, inspired by Kimigamo Shrine’s iconic sand mounds in Kyoto. Hence the coned shape sculptures that hold her tea utensils.
Known for her accomplishments as a lighting designer from Kyoto, her work seems to continuously transcend all expectations. This Mugen event did not only serve as an exhibition, but a demonstration of traditional Japanese tea ceremony style known as Ryurei, of course with a Yuri Kinoshita twist.
Just as the traditional Ryurei tea ceremony style they used a table and chairs, instead of sitting on a Tatami mat. Unlike traditional Ryurei tea ceremony style Yuri custom designed and built the 30” ceramic mountain to hold her tools, hot water, sweets, and chawan (tea bowl). Her traditional, yet contemporary use of such material reminded us of one of our favorite tea heroes of all time, Sen no Rikyu. Thank you for allowing us to participate in your beautiful vision.
Japanese monks recognized the properties of the deep green elixir a thousand of years ago and used it as an aid in their meditation practice. In long hours of stillness they found that drinking Matcha helped keep their mind calmly alert.
For centuries Matcha has given us relaxation without causing drowsiness. Science has confirmed that such practice may be attributed in a rare amino acid Matcha contains, known as L-Theanine. L-Theanine promotes a state of relaxation by influencing the brain. Whilst stress induces beta waves an active, more agitated state, L-Theanine creates alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed attentiveness.
While this magical protein is common in all green teas, Matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas! Unlike tea’s counterpart, coffee, Matcha promotes concentration and clarity of the body and mind without any of the nervous energy found in coffee. If you are on the pursuit of replacing your everyday coffee in the morning, try Matcha to give you that energy boost and clear focus.
Spoon & Tamago is my all time favorite blog. They capture the exquisite harmony of traditional & contemporary Japanese art and culture. They just recently posted a beautiful piece in the book, Architectural Ikkoan, capturing the beauty of Wagashi*.
Practiced a little tea ceremony (Okeiko/Otemai) today, a particular style called Ryakubon Temae Urasenke – 略盆点前. And had the opportunity to study under Mrs. Makiko Tong in the lovely Queen Ann area.
She humbly corrected the way we were holding the utensils, and laughed at us forgivingly as we as we spoon humongous mound of matcha into our bowls. Admist all the noise, it wasn’t until I observed the moment for what it was, the beautifully cyclical relationship in tea ceremony between a “guest” and “host.”
Her house had such a dreamy view of the lake and the clouds cleared enough for us to enjoy Mt. Rainer as the ephemeral day started transitioning to night.