A Japanese tea ceremony will be presented by Kimiko Gunji at the College of Visual Arts on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart. The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the guests view point (angle), especially the main guests called the Shokyaku.
Kimiko Gunji is the former director of Japan House and Professor Emeritus of Japanese Arts & Culture in the School of Art & Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She taught at the University since 1979. The courses she taught included the Way of Tea and Zen Aesthetics, the Art of Japanese Flower Arrangement, and the Campus Honors Program Seminar: Rigidity and Flexibility in Japanese Arts and Culture.
She is a Full Professor of the Ikenobo Ikebana (Japanese Flower Arranging) School in Japan and Chapter President of the Illinois Prairie Ikenobo Ikebana. Her Ikenobo Ikebana teacher’s name is Kiyomi. She also holds Chamei: Souki from the Urasenke Tea School and serves as President of the Urbana-Champaign Association of Chado Urasenke Tankokai, Inc. She also holds a teaching certificate of Japanese classical dance.
Kimiko Gunji received numerous awards for her teachings as well as her contributions to promote Japanese arts and culture. Among her awards are: Recipient of Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in the Field of Ethnic and Folk Arts, the International Culture Award from The Cultural Foundation for Promoting the National Costume of Japan, University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Awards for her contribution to building a better world. She was also recognized from the Foreign Minister of Japan for her contribution to promoting and strengthening the ties of friendship and goodwill between the United States and Japan.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
CVA Summit Building
344 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102