Smile Politely

Check out these events at Japan House this fall

After attending my first Matsuri Festival at Japan House, I’m now thoroughly psyched to experience some of their other offerings. Their newsletter highlighted some great events coming up this fall. 

Calligraphy Workshops

A series of calligraphy workshops with Shozo Sato begin this Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm. There will be two workshops each month. You may sign up for one, all, or any number. All levels of experience are welcome—including none whatsoever! It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the peace and beauty of Japan House, and always a friendly, welcoming group of people that gather. Just go to Eventbrite to check all the dates and make a reservation.

A Rare Event with Senko Ikenobo

We are honored to be welcoming Senko Ikenobo as our visitor for our Fall Open House on Saturday, October 21, 2017, with a presentation at 11:00 am. Ikebana, the art of Japanese floral arranging, is a revered Japanese artistic and cultural tradition. Senko Ikenobo is the 46th generation of the Ikenobo family, who originated the art of Ikebana, and she is designated to be the first female Headmaster of the Ikenobo Ikebana School of Floral Art in its more than 550 years of recorded history. This is an extraordinary moment for women’s history in Japan.

During her visit to Japan House she will also review work by students in Professor Emeritus Kimiko Gunji’s class ARTD 299 Hana and Kokoro: Ikebana which is being taught this semester because of this special opportunity. The Chado Urasenke Tankokai Urbana-Champaign Association will offer tea ceremonies throughout the day, at a reduced price, and there will also be free garden tours by our garden designer and caretaker, James Bier.

2017 is the 20th anniversary of the Illinois Prairie Chapter of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society. It is because of this benchmark that they are bringing Senko Ikenobo to campus, and Japan House is a proud sponsor of these events. In addition to our Open House visit are two other opportunities to experience Ikebana and the work of Senko Ikenobo.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts will host an exhibition of Ikebana arrangements in the foyer of the Foellinger Great Hall from 5:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday, October 20, 2017, and from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturday, October 21, 2017 and Sunday, October 22, 2017.

There will also be a ticketed demonstration by Senko Ikenobo at Krannert Center on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm. Tickets start at only $10 for Illinois students and younger students.

We are thrilled to be working with the Illinois Prairie Chapter and Krannert Center to help make these events happen. It truly is a very rare moment and opportunity.

Tea Ceremonies Resume

With the start of the academic year comes our resumption of weekly tea ceremonies. We alternate tea ceremonies on Wednesdays at 5:30 and Thursdays at 3:00, as well as on the third Saturday of the month at 2:00 and 3:00 pm. Don’t worry—if that sounds confusing you can easily find the dates at our Eventbrite page, as well as our website! Reservations are highly recommended as they often sell out.

Experiencing a tea ceremony is to understand the heart and soul of Japan House, and Japanese culture. We welcome you, whether for the first time, or someone we have been honored to receive many, many times. It is always good in these time to welcome a moment of peace and harmony, and the Japan House gardens, open dawn to dusk, also await you.

Tsukimi: Moon Viewing at Japan House

Join us on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7:00 pm for Tsukimi, the traditional Japanese holiday celebrating the harvest moon. Kimiko Gunji will perform a tea ceremony inside Japan House in honor of the harvest moon. Then, the first 100 people will receive a manjyu sweet to eat while we wait for the moon to rise. If you haven’t viewed the harvest moon over the Japan House gardens, you are in for a treat! Free and open to all. This will take place rain or shine.

Photos from Japan House. 

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