January 20, 2019, EWCC celebrated Hatsugama, the First Tea of the New Year, at Naishinan tearoom, overlooking the blue waters of Lake Washington. 2019 is the year of the boar, the twelfth sign of the Chinese zodiac. This year the emperor’s poetic theme for Utakai Hajime, annual poetry competition, is 光 (hikari, light).  In keeping with this theme, our tokonoma scroll was “Jo Jaku Sho” (Ever tranquil light) by Kono Sokan Roshi, a gift of Rev. Miyake Tokusei.

This event was hosted by the Wednesday class students with much preparation under the guidance of Timothy Sowa Olson. There were three usucha seatings and a luncheon for the more than twenty guests.

Tea utensils for the gathering included a special gifted pine motif Raku bowl by Waraku and a gold-gilded red Raku shimadai bowl by Shoraku. The lacquered thin tea container featured a hagoita (shuttlecock and battledore) makie motif with mother-of-pearl inlay, by Kouko. The kazujawan were also red Raku from the Katsura kiln. The chashaku was carved by the former abbot Daitokuji Ryokoin Kobori Dairei and given the name “Daisetsuzan” (Majestic Snowy Peak) by Hisamatsu Shinichi, a gift of Yanagita Soha sensei.

Teishu included Bonnie Soshin Mitchell, Yumi Hacker, and Koh Shimizu, assisted by Chris Ezzell, Shaula Massena, and Kazumi Ohara. Lynn Sorin Moser presented incense appreciation of aloes wood (kiki-koh).

The obento lunch was ordered from Kozmo Kitchen, who was able to provide gluten-free and vegetarian options. The main sweet was hanabira mochi prepared by Tokara Confections.