INTRODUCTION TO CHANOYU STUDY
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