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Yushinkai Honors Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald

Posted on Jul 17, 2019 in Featured News, News & Reports, Press Releases
Photo:  Charlyn Masini of Yushinkai performs the ritual tea ceremony, practiced in Japan since the 16th century. Photo courtesy of Wayne Muromoto.

Charlyn Masini of Yushinkai performs the ritual tea ceremony, practiced in Japan since the 16th century. Photo courtesy of Wayne Muromoto.

Charlyn Masini of Yushinkai performs the ritual tea ceremony, practiced in Japan since the 16th century. Photo courtesy of Wayne Muromoto.

Yushinkai, a prominent Hawaiʻi Chadō Urasenke tea group led by former First Lady of the State of Hawaiʻi Jean Ariyoshi, honored Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald as a champion of peace, consistent with the mission of the Chadō Urasenke tradition, which promotes peace and international goodwill through The Way of Tea.

The traditional Japanese tea ceremony was performed in Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Courtroom by Yushinkai members Charlyn Masini and Dr. Mary McDonald on July 12, 2019. The event was emceed by Jean Ariyoshi and Lynne Waihee, also a former First Lady of the State of Hawaiʻi, and Yushinkai member. Dr. Genshitsu Sen, 15th generation Grand Tea Master, Urasenke Chadō Tradition, flew in from Japan to attend.

Also attending were Consul General Kōichi Ito, Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu; former Governors George Ariyoshi and John Waihee; House Speaker Scott Saiki; Admiral Philip S. Davidson (U.S. Indo-Pacific Command) and Mrs. Tracy Davidson; Senior United States Circuit Judge of the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals Richard Clifton; Associate Justices Paula Nakayama, Sabrina McKenna, and Richard Pollack; Intermediate Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lisa Ginoza and Associate Judge Lawrence Reifurth; Judge Karen Nakasone; Judge Kevin Morikone; members of the bar; Judiciary staff; and community organization representatives.

 

Photo:  Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald drinks the ceremonial green tea as Consul General Kōichi Ito, Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu, looks on.

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald drinks the ceremonial green tea as Consul General Kōichi Ito, Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu, looks on.

About the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony, also called The Way of Tea, is a cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (抹茶), powdered green tea. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese the tea together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance the bitter taste of the tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all of one’s attention into the predefined movements, in a meditative state, in spiritual communion with the invited guests.

Tea was first introduced to Japan in the 9th century by a Buddhist monk from China, where its medicinal purposes had been known for millennia. The Japanese tea ceremony was ritualized by Sen Rikyū (1522-1591) in the 16th century. During the era of his grandson, Sen Sōtan, the san-Senke or three “houses of Sen” or schools of the tea ceremony, which derive from the Sen Rikyū name came into being: Urasenke, Omotesenke, and Mushakoji senke. Three sons of Sōtan each became heirs to the three schools of teaching Chadō (The Way of Tea). The head (iemoto) of the Urasenke tradition carries the hereditary name Sen Sōshitsu. The present head of Urasenke is Zabōsai Genmoku Sōshitsu. He is the 16th generation in the line that originated with Sen Rikyū in the 16th century. Currently, there are over two million practitioners of the Chadō Urasenke tea ceremony in Japan.

Dr. Sen, who attended the ceremony, was instrumental in establishing the first Urasenke chapter outside Japan in Hawaiʻi in 1951, as well as later chapters around the world. He has performed tea ceremonies around the globe, including in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and United Arab Emirates. He served tea at the Millennium Assembly for the International Day of Peace at the United Nations, to military leaders at U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C., to Pearl Harbor survivors at the USS Arizona Memorial, and Hawaiian dignitaries at Iolani Palace, as well as to international VIPs including the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Vice President Al Gore, the Clintons, Premier Gorbachev of Russia, and First Lady Laura Bush. Dr. Sen was appointed a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Goodwill Ambassador in 2012 in recognition of his contribution to world peace and culture through the tea ceremony. His philosophy is to spread world peace, one cup of tea at a time.

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at pao@courts.hawaii.gov.

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