Ocha Zanmai: International Conference on Chanoyu and Tea Culture

Sunday, May 1, 2016, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Photo of Japanese tea
SF State's third Japanese tea ceremony conference focuses on the creation of utensils and spaces dedicated to this revered cultural practice. It will feature presentations by two experts from Japan: Kunio Kirisako, an architectural historian, and Seiwemon Onishi, Japan's foremost tea kettle maker. $5 - $45.
Humanities Building, Humanities Auditorium
Midori McKeon
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Kirisako will speak on “Tea Rooms in Momoyama Era (late 16th century) and Yamanoue no Soji ki.”He will discuss tea-room architecture recorded by Sen no Rikyu’s high disciple Yamanoue no Soji. Onishi will give a talk titled “Tea Cha-no-u-Kama: Beauty and Appreciation.” He will bring and exhibit a tea kettle of his own making.

Other presentations include two research studies and one demonstration. John Thomas Ekholm, Gothenburg University, Sweden, will discuss the Western pre-WWII view of Chanoyu; Ariel Stilerman, Florida State University, will examine the so-called Rikyu Hayakushu in her paper on “Learning Chanoyu From Waka: Instruction and Cultural Transmission in Early Modern Japan.” Yoshiyuki Miyatake, Doshisha University, will give a lecture and a demonstration of making chashaku, tea scoops.

Chanoyu refers to the “Way of Tea,” and recognizes the tea ceremony as a comprehensive form of art, hospitality and spiritual pursuit.

A bowl of matcha tea will be served to all attendees during the lunch recess by local tea practitioners of Omotesenke and Urasenke, two schools dedicated to carrying on the Way of Tea, and SF State students who are learning chanoyu.

Midori McKeon, a professor of Japanese language and literature at San Francisco State University, is conference chair and organizer.

Previous conferences, held in 2012 and 2013, attracted hundreds of attendees — scholars, practitioners and the curious — from the U.S. and abroad.


  • College of Liberal & Creative Arts
  • Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and Japanese Culture
  • Modern Languages and Literatures Department
  • Faculty of the Modern and Classical Languages Department, University of San Francisco