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Tea Gathering with Fuden-An So-Jitsu Kobori, the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu School of Tea

The Grand Master making tea.
The 13th Grand Master of the Enshu School of Tea visited Singapore recently for his annual visit to teach at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and held a special Tea Ceremony at the Ambassador’s Residence on 24 August 2018. Hosted by the Ambassador of Japan to Singapore, His Excellency Ambassador Kenji Shinoda and his wife Mdm Yuko Shinoda, this tea ceremony was attended by Mrs Tan-Chua Lik Ling, Head of Children and Youth at the Esplanade, His Excellency Mr Chin Siat Yoon, former Singapore Ambassador to Japan and his wife Mrs Chin-Wang Lee Moi, Mr Ng Chee Khern, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Peter Tan, Managing Partner at SkyVen Asset Management Pte Ltd and his wife Mrs Sharon Tan, Mr Adrian Tan, owner of Adplanet, and Mrs Tan Shook Wah, Director of Adplanet. The Guests of Honour for this occasion was Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, His Excellency Minister Masagos Zulkifli, and his wife Mdm Jumelah.

During the ceremony, the Grand Master explained the idea behind the Enshu School of Tea. A traditional Japanese sweet was then served; a red bean paste sweet with the Enshu School’s emblem on its skin. He encouraged the guests to smell the wooden forks that the sweet was served with, as it was infused with an aroma that greatly complemented that of the sweet. Tea was then made and served to the guests, using a special blend of tea leaves from Uji, Kyoto that the Grand Master himself had a hand in creating. As a souvenir, guests were also given a small gift of these tea leaves, so that they can have the Grand Master’s special blend at home.
H.E. Minister Masagos during the tea ceremony.

Grand Master answering questions from guests.
The Grand Master also answered various questions that the guests had about tea and tea ceremonies. He also explained the meanings behind the tea bowls and some of the utensils and table he used in the ceremony, most of which he had designed. For example, he had a stand for his bamboo ladle which signified three generations of tea masters coming together in their love for tea. He also hoped that even though the world is changing quickly, people from different walks of life will be able to unite and calm their minds and hearts with tea.

Group photo.

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