A peep into Japanese traditions

Staff Reporter

Competition in Ikebana today

Fete marks Indo-Japanese Friendship Year

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Visitors to the ‘Japan festival’ at VJT hall in the city on Saturday were treated to a rare glimpse of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony by the organisers.

The Japanese tea ceremony or the way of tea is a traditional ritual based on Taoism and influenced by Zen Buddhism in which powdered green tea is ceremonially prepared by a skilled practitioner and served to a small group of guests in a tranquil setting.

Since a tea practitioner must be familiar with the production and types of tea, with kimono, calligraphy, flower arranging, ceramics, incense and a wide range of other disciplines and traditional arts in addition to his or her school’s tea practices, the study of tea ceremony takes many years and often lasts a lifetime.

The two-day festival organised by the Japan Cultural and Information Centre in association with the Consulate General of Japan, Chennai, Alumni Society of Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship and Global Regionalist Initiative Project (GRIP), Kerala, exhibits an array of Japanese show piece items from the popular bonsais to wooden dolls and paintings and photographs. According to Shimoka Koichi, professor emeritus, Satitama University, Japan, the Japanese culture always gives respect to ancestors and thus it is necessary to visit their family grave at least twice a year. Mr. Koichi who is also the chairman of GRIP, Kerala, said he was inspired to visit the State after reading Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s write-ups on the ‘Kerala Model.’ The session on tea ceremony was preceded by a demonstration on Origami, the art of folding paper in different ways to create shapes like animals, birds, aeroplanes, plants, etc.

A competition in Ikebana, a type of flower arrangement, will be held on Sunday morning. There The festival is organised to mark the Indo- Japanese friendship year.

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