The Tea Ceremony (Chanoyu or Chado) of Japan embodies all the artistic and cultural refinements of Japan. Patricia Katagiri began her studies of Chanoyu after her marriage in order to learn more about Japanese culture. Chanoyu includes not just the preparation and serving of sweets and tea, but also spiritual aspects found in Zen Buddhism and Taoism. It even has some Christian influences. One who has studied and is a “master” of Tea should know about history, calligraphy, architecture, flower arranging, gardening, and much more. Even after 45 years of study, Patricia describes that there is much she still needs to learn.

Patricia recently used the Agosto space for a Tea gathering (chakai). She described her time with her friends and family, and agreed to allow Agosto to share these interesting and intimate details of this ceremony in words and images.

“Its design was perfect for us… especially with the small room next to the large gathering space to use as a preparation/staging area. We were very happy that our many guests could see the ritual of making Tea for the main recipients and then be served their own sweet and bowl of tea from the preparation area. The use of your kitchen area made it very easy to stage and serve the light dinner after the Tea presentation.”

“About one-third of the 60 guests we had were my Tea students. The rest were family and friends, many of whom had never participated in a Tea gathering before. They were very happy to celebrate with me in your beautiful space. We were able to share a slideshow of my journey in Chanoyu through the years, and also to hang several Japanese scrolls on the pillars and on the glass wall (which was reminiscent of Japanese shoji).”

After 45 years of study, Patricia was given a Tea Name (Chamei) from the Urasenke School of Tea in Kyoto Japan. To study Tea is to put oneself into the present moment and to walk a “way” of “learning” so as to “act in truth.” This is the principle of “Do Gakku Jitsu” (or “Three in One”).

Agosto was honored to be able to have Patricia and the rest of the Katagiri family celebrate this special ceremony. We hope that sharing this interesting, ancient, tradition that transcends time and place gives our readers some insight.