W&L participation in Midorikai Alumni Worldwide Chakai Tea to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Midorikai
On May 2-3, W&L participated offline in the Midorikai Alumni OneWorld Chakai, which was a 24-hour worldwide relay tea to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Midorikai. Professor Ikeda learned tea at the Urasenke headquarters in Kyoto for three years as a Midorikai student.
From the May 2020 report to Urasenke:
道学術 Without Midorikai, there would be no Senshin’an (洗心庵) Tearoom at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Thank you Daisosho and Oiemoto for your support of Midorikai. At W&L we now challenged by a pandemic that has emptied our campus where the buildings are dark, quiet and locked down. During the most beautiful season, no students are to be found on the expansive lawns. The dormitories are silent and excitement about graduation, study abroad, and the end of finals has evaporated. Our tearoom may seem like a still, empty vessel, but it continues to teach. Education is all about helping students finding their own way in the world. I dedicate this bowl of tea to all, like myself, who are still searching for the "Way." I never imagined that I would someday use my Midorikai experience to teach a class about chanoyu at the undergraduate level. Graduate school gave me an academic foundation, but it was my years in Midorikai that provided me with the confidence to teach in the tearoom. We are challenged every day by distractions that threaten our peace of mind -- lack of focus, lack of real communication, and lack of meaningful interactions with others. For me, the tearoom as classroom has become a pedagogical modus operandi for how I teach everything else from Japanese language to literary translation to literature in translation.
Janet Ikeda, Washington and Lee University