Japan’s Great Grand Master of tea visits CityU

Eliza Lee

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One of Japan’s leading figures in tea culture and a notable promoter of world peace visited City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 23 June to promote Chado (The Way of Tea) and explore long-term collaborations with the University.

Dr Sen Genshitsu, the 15th generation Grand Master of the Urasenke Tradition of Tea, led a 10-member delegation that included representatives from Urasenke Kyoto Headquarters and Chado Urasenke Tankokai Hong Kong Association.

The delegation was welcomed by Professor Way Kuo, University President; Professor Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice President (Development and External Relations); Professor Gregory Raupp, Vice President (Research and Technology); Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Vice President (Student Affairs); Professor Julia Tao Lai Po-wah, Chief-of-Staff; and representatives from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, and students studying Japanese.

Dr Sen was Urasenke Grand Master for 38 years (1964–2002) and his family has a 500-year history in traditional tea, operating the largest tea school in Japan. He was awarded the Order of Culture by the Emperor of Japan in 1997 for his contributions to tea culture. He was also appointed as the Japan–UN Goodwill Ambassador by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2005.

He promotes world peace under the theme “Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea”. He has visited more than 62 countries and met more than 100 prominent world leaders such as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Pope Benedict XVI, Queen Elizabeth II and Premier Wen Jiabao.

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