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folding the fukusa


The study of tea synthesizes fields as various as history, history of art, history of literature and intellectual thought, as well as cuisine, horticulture, architecture, among other areas. Yet the basis of this four hundred year old cultural practice lies in the mental and physical postures that constitute the preparing and receiving of a bowl of green tea.

The Urasenke Foundation San Francisco offers a rigorous curriculum structured to welcome students of any experience level who are interested in learning the art of chanoyu. Our diversity of students represents men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of understanding. Since chanoyu study may last a lifetime, students are encouraged to learn at their own pace and to enjoy the quiet pleasures of sharing a bowl of tea with others.

Classes range from introductory to beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Instruction covers a progression through the traditional sequence of various procedures [temae] for making tea, the care and handling of the works of art utilized in these procedures, as well as discussions of the associated fields mentioned above. More detailed descriptions of the course levels can be found under “List of Classes.”

A number of special opportunities for study are available to students of the Foundation. Study of the formal, full tea gathering, known as chaji in which kaiseki cuisine, thick tea and thin tea are served to guests, is regularly integrated into the continuing students’ curriculum. In addition students have a chance to contribute their knowledge and energy as volunteers for public service programs tailored for groups that range from elementary school through university, and include public institutions such as museums.

The classes are taught in English and Japanese by a team of dedicated and credentialed men and women. Each teacher has a special area of expertise as well as a broad knowledge. The teacher-student ratio is small, in order to ensure quality individual attention.

The First Tea of the New Year Tenshin Gathering Foundation Student's Gathering Hatsugama Open Hearth