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Mar 9, 2018

The Romanian Museum of National Art Chashitsu baptised with its first demonstration

"MNAR" - precisely the name of a Viking warrior or an Avatar from the constellation Cygnus Alpha XP-1549.
Well, not really!
This provoking name stands for the Museum of National Art of Romania. But stepping inside, in the belly of the former Royal Palace, gives you the chills of an incredibly touching experience. The sober, glorious and majestic display of confused monumentalism, (trimmed here and there by the presence of ginkgo leaves design metal lacing cage style elevators, silently moving you from a surreal space to another, as you submit slowly to the acceptance of being lost forever), suddenly changes its face, as it spits you inside another universe: a quiet, dust free, temperature controlled white space, a drop of the "impossible" inside of the "possible".

There, on its own, sleeping like a cat, a little Japanese tea house, a Chashitsu with its friend, Roji, the tea garden. The first such construction to ever exist in Romania, grace to an auspicious encounter between the management of the museum, the Japanese Embassy in Romania, a group of remarkably generous sponsors and the talented hands and vision of the Japanese architects and builders.
Never had such a thing been so close to the Romanian public, hands able to feel the texture of the impeccably processed high quality wood, the eyes absorbing the transparency and fragility of the Japanese Shoji paper, the air filled with the smell of freshly washed straws of the tatami. A strange thing, reminding us of the Japan of the XVI century and the birth of the most incredible tradition ever, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. What to do?

What to do? Well, try it out.
We, the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Romania - Luminis Association, had the chance, thanks to the kindness of the museum management and in particular the museum director, Mr. Liviu Constantinescu and Carmen Brad, art historian and the curator of the tea room, to offer a demonstration of a Chaji, (a gathering of tea connoisseurs), for the museum staff who worked with abnegation and joy helping to bring alive this incredible construction - the Chashitsu.

Below, no talk, just images to let you share a bit of our emotions during this brief demonstration. The photos are the results of the presence of the mind and the hand of Andrei Nicolas Stefan, whom I met by pure chance, well in fact by being impressed by his work, who accepted to record this event and whom I strongly suggest you should follow, if you want to be delighted by what we, many times, are ignoring: the beauty of lights, shadows, the eye catching relevance of the detail lost in the sea of the routine and the presence of the human spirit.



















Jan 17, 2018

The opening of Chashitsu in Bucharest and the visit of Mrs Akie Abe, the wife of the prim minister of Japan


 In Sen no Rikyu's times it was normal for political people to share a cup of tea in a tea hut. In Japan this tradition still exists, in a form proper for this century.

Yesterday in Romania the prim minister of Japan was in Romania, and his wife, Mrs. Akie Abe visited such a tea hut / Chashitsu together with our minister of Culture and other personalities, and could drink a cup of tea on tatami.

The Japanese Embassy organized this great event, inviting Mrs Abe at the National Museum of Arts in Bucharest, where a Chashitsu was built.

The National Museum of Art in Romania / MNAR, which is situated in the old Royal Palace, together with the Japanese Embassy, with the architects, with Takenaka, the company that built the Chashitsu, with the help of Chado Urasenke from Kyoto and of the JTI Romania finished the building of the Chashitsu, inside the museum's section dedicated to the Japanese and Oriental arts.

The school of tea ceremony, Chado Urasenke from Kyoto gave the name of the Chashitsu, RYŌKOAN, writen on a hangaku. 

The event included the ceremony of opening this Chashitsu and of it's hangaku. Mrs Akie Abe, Mrs. Ambasador Ishii, the minister of Culture, the director of MNAR and the director of JTI performed this ceremony.

The tea ceremony was performed by Tsutsumi sensei, representative of Chado Urasenke and her student, Mr. Kani, from Paris, with the help of both Chado Urasenke Tankokai Romania Luminis and Chado Urasenke Tankokai Romania.

Links toward other oficial publications about the event:

https://www.agerpres.ro/cultura/2018/01/16/sotia-premierului-japoniei-akie-abe-la-ceremonia-ceaiului-de-la-mnar-sunt-enorm-de-impresionata--37893 

http://www.mnar.arts.ro/evenimente-muzeu/eveniment/229-camera-de-ceai-de-la-mnar-inaugurat%C4%83-%C3%AEn-prezen%C8%9Ba-doamnei-akie-abe
























Jan 8, 2018

"Interviurile lui Matei Georgescu" @ TVH - On Chado with Gabriel Caciula sensei


On a rather rainy December day we have been invited by Mr. Matei Georgescu at his Television Show, called "Interviurile lui Matei Georgescu", at TVH. The television was situated right inside the building of an University in Bucharest, and it is actually that University's television. We have found out that Mr. Georgescu is a professor there, and also a psychoanalyst. Every week he has an interview, and discussions are always on some interesting cultural aspects.

That particular day he was interested in Chado and Chanoyu. Our meeting with him was quick and as smooth as possible. Just one phone call from him and there we were, making and drinking tea together.

First of all I have to say I am happy to realize that Chanoyu has gained enough visibility in Romania for people to become curious about it and to have TV shows about it. It is an endless subject for discussion, for Chado/ Chanoyu are the essence of the Japanese Culture.

We have presented Chanoyu and Chado in so many places and in so many different ways, that I hope the Romanian public can see this philosophy and practice in a larger perspective now.

Here is the link to this TV show, were Gabriel Caciula Soga sensei speacks about Tea Ceremony with Mr Matei Georgescu and prepares a cup of tea for both our host and myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v3EI08i9VA

by Cristina Comanac

Nov 24, 2017

CHANOYŪ and ZEN

The influence of Zen Buddhism in shaping up the spiritual canvas of Chanoyū


Chanoyū, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, completed its forming process as a stable tradition during the XVI century. People were different, the ways were different, the beliefs were different. Yet it was that mentality that gave meaning to Chanoyū. And that mentality included Zen.
About 500 years later Chanoyū still exists, is alive, fashionable I might say, and claims its full grasp of the original form as practically intact. But we are different today. Are we still able to grasp its original meaning and if so to also apply it? If not, what then?
An empire of senses, a heaven of artistic endeavour, Chanoyū survived as a unique tradition due to its spiritual space. Are we still able to grasp that spiritual space today, in the midst of new technologies, new aesthetic perceptions, new popular culture, new media? Do we have to? What would Chanoyū be if voided of its spiritual dimension?

Tea and Zen are One - they used to say 500 hundred years ago. Is this still holding?

To share thoughts on this matter you are kindly invited to a free entrance conference and tea serving organised by Tankokai Romania Luminis during the month of the Japanese Culture . Please see below the required information to register for this event.



VENUE: CENTRUL SEEDS FOR HAPPINESS 

DATA: 29 NOIEMBRIE, 2017 / ORA 19:00

LOCUL: STR. FABRICA DE CHIBRITURI NR. 16 SECTOR 4 / SALA HAPPY

REGISTRATION:

MAIL: info.urasenke.romania@gmail.ro

TELEFON: 0734 681 675

Locurile fiind limitate rezervarea este recomandata si intrarea se va face in ordinea sosirii.

Oct 21, 2017

Octombrie 2017 Seminar in Bucuresti

Octombrie este o luna extrem de speciala in ceai. O luna a schimbarii, a trecerii dinspre vara inspre iarna; o luna in care practicile sunt atat de variate si de speciale incat te poti pierde printre ele. Si cu toate acestea, ceea ce caracterizaeza aceasta luna este simplitatea si sentimentul de inceata vestejire, in cel mai poetic sens cu putinta.
 
In primul rand, focul se muta catre centru, unde vara este in stanga si iarna este in dreapta. Cu focul in sau doar catre centru am putut practica Chabako, Nakaoki, Go Gyo Dana, Nagashidate. Nu in ultimul rand si cea mai interesanta practica este Gyaku gatte, practica in care camera este practic in oglinda si toate lucrurile sunt aranjate pe dos. Cu greu te poti plictisi de Chanoyu (practica ceremoniei ceaiului) si cu greu iti poate adormi mintea - altfel decat de oboseala atentiei si concentrarii permanente.


Invatand sa prepare focul in Go Gyo Dana, un stand special pentru luna octombrie.





Usucha si Koicha cu Go Gyo Dana













 Tsuki Chabako - Chabako de toamna.

Gyaku gatte, pratica in oglinda, pe partea stanga.








Nagashidate - un teame foarte special cu un aer intim, gazda fiind foarte aproape de oaspeti.


Sep 30, 2017

September - Tea Seminar in Brussels

Only three of us went to the two days seminar, but what a rich experience! Full days practice and a very good time spent in a very good Japanese restaurant in the evening.


A beautiful Haigata made by sensei was waiting for us. After waking up at 3 o'clock in the morning to catch the flight we started building up the fire right after our arrival at sensei's practice place.




 Soon we started to practice various procedures