Third Tea Ceremony Conference Planned for May 1

January 19, 2016
Photo of Japanese water ladle.

San Francisco State University will present its third Japanese tea ceremony conference on Sunday, May 1 with a focus on the creation of utensils and spaces dedicated to this revered cultural practice, announced Dr. Midori McKeon, conference chair and organizer.

The 2016 San Francisco International Conference on Chanoyu and Tea Culture will feature presentations by two experts from Japan: Dr. Kunio Kirisako, an architectural historian, and Seiwemon Onishi, Japan’s foremost tea kettle maker. Chanoyu refers to the “Way of Tea,” and recognizes the tea ceremony as a comprehensive form of art, hospitality and spiritual pursuit.

A bowl of matcha tea will be served to all attendees during the lunch recess by local tea practitioners of Omotesenke and Urasenke, two schools dedicated to carrying on the Way of Tea, and SFSU students who are learning chanoyu.

The all-day conference is open to the public and will be held in the Humanities Auditorium, Room 133 in the Humanities Building, on campus. A post-conference networking session also will be held.

Previous conferences, held in 2012 and 2013, attracted hundreds of attendees—scholars, practitioners and the curious— from the U.S. and abroad.

This year’s conference will be hosted by the university’s College of Liberal & Creative Arts, Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and Japanese Culture and Department of Modern Languages & Literatures in cooperation with faculty of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, University of San Francisco.

Dr. McKeon, a professor of Japanese language and literature at San Francisco State University, is especially excited to have secured the two guest speakers. Dr. Kirisako will speak on “Tea Rooms in Momoyama Era (late 16th century) and Yamanoue no Soji ki.” He will discuss tea room architecture recorded by Sen no Rikyu’s high disciple Yamanoue no Soji. Mr Onishi will give a talk entitled “Tea Cha-no-u-Kama: Beauty and Appreciation.” He will bring and exhibit a tea kettle of his own making.

Other presentations include two research studies and one demonstration. Mr. John Thomas Ekholm, Gothenburg University, Sweden, will discuss Western pre-WWII View of Chanoyu; Dr. Ariel Stilerman, Florida State University, will examine the so-called Rikyu Hayakushu in her paper on “Learning Chanoyu From Waka: Instruction and Cultural Transmission in Early Modern Japan.” And finally, Dr. Yoshiyuki Miyatake, Doshisha University, will give a lecture and a demonstration of making chashaku, tea scoops.

To register, download the Registration Form and follow the instructions.

For additional information, contact Dr. McKeon at