Tea For Peace--Charity Auction at the Silver Pavilion
On Thursday June 23rd a large--very large--Tea Ceremony was held at the Silver Pavilion; one of the main reasons for this large gathering--about 600 people attended--was to raise money for relief efforts in the northern region of Japan after the devasting quake and tsunami of March 11th. The cost of attending was not cheap, a 'ticket' cost 30,000 yen and entitled one to a thin tea setting, a thick tea setting (each 'ceremony' was for about 50 people at a time), a simple yet delicious kaiseki bento (stood in line for about an hour, yet met some very nice folks) entrance into the National Treasure--and usually off-limits--Tea house named Tōgudō, which was the room where the 4.5 tatami Tea style was founded by Ashikaga Yoshima (1435-1490). This was before hanging scrolls, before sushi, when imported Chinese vessels were held supreme. In this small room were Yoshimasa's writing utensils and a framed shoji window that when opened framed the garden, just like a hanging scroll. After viewing this important and very shibui structure I went to have a look at the contemporary works being auctioned off; many famous names were represented including Kakurezaki, Akiyama Yo, Suzuki Osamu, Kaneshige Yuho and Makoto and Kawase Shinobu. People came from all over Japan for the event, and I was most likely the person who lived closest to it all; after all my address here in Kyoto is 'In-Front-Of-The Silver Pavilion' district.