Over the last few evenings at IH London we have been delighted to work with one of our English language students, Eriko Mikubo, to hold Japanese Tea Ceremonies for our Japanese language students. Eriko-san works in Kyoto as a Tea Ceremony Lecturer, and has been introducing our Japanese language students to the art form. This was an amazing opportunity for our students to engage with Japanese culture and experience something truly unique here at IH London.
Eriko-san began with a presentation about the history of the Japanese Tea Ceremony and explained how it includes many elements of Japanese culture including the spirit of hospitality, zen practices, costume, cuisine, architecture and more. Students then got to watch Eriko-san perform a ceremony – an intricate and delicate process which was fascinating to experience.
Then came the challenge of acting as a tea host! Our students practised offering fellow classmates okashi (Japanese sweets) whilst remembering key phrases and the art of bowing. They then tried their hand at preparing a cup of matcha tea – not as easy of you might think – and again, offered the tea to others with set phrases and practices. It was great fun trying to reenact what comes so naturally to Japanese tea masters.
A huge thank you to Eriko-san and everyone who was involved with this amazing event series!