[Kodo Apprentice Centre] “Helping Out with the Tea Ceremony at Aikawa Hinamatsuri Festival” by Michiko Chida
On March 9, there was a Hinamatsuri Tea Ceremony at the historic Sado Magistrate’s Office site in Aikawa. This ceremony was run by students from elementary schools, junior high & high schools on Sado Island, and the 2nd-year Kodo apprentices joined the ceremony for the first time.
The apprentices were so, so nervous to show their tea ceremony etiquette in front of an audience for the first time.
Experts made the tea to perfection, working in the backroom. Tea ceremony masters offered wonderful hospitality to the guests. The apprentices not only had to follow their teachers’ good example and instructions, but they had to see if they could fit into the ceremony and put what they had learnt into action. These skills are also necessary to perform as Kodo members. We were given this precious opportunity and really learned a lot.
At the end of the event, the novice apprentices were given the chance to prepare and serve the tea. They found out that they need to study more and left with renewed determination to do so!
Explaining the tea ceremony tools is important, too. They shared their hospitality with others by serving them tea.
When I think back to almost a year ago in April, the apprentices had a hard time just sitting on the tatami mats during their tea ceremony lessons. Since then, they have grown so much, in their tea ceremony and through all kinds of experiences on Sado Island. We would like to say thank you to all the people who have supported them.
Their next precious practical experience will be in a Noh performance at Kanai Noh Theater on March 16. The apprentices will sing in a performance by students studying Noh on Sado Island. The teachers, who perform Noh passionately in their private time, teach the apprentices a lot of things.
This tea ceremony was held in low lighting to incorporate the beauty of the era before electricity.
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