Bonnie (Soshin宗心) Mitchell is a long-time chanoyu instructor in Seattle and founding director of East-West Chanoyu Center. After receiving a BA degree in Art History at the University of Washington, she began seven years of intensive chanoyu studies in Kyoto, Japan under the guidance of YANAGITA Soha and SEN Soshitsu, 15th generation head of the Urasenke tradition of tea. She graduated from both the Urasenke Chado Tanki Daigaku international division and the professional Japanese division of the college.
At the behest of Dr. Sen, Ms. Mitchell returned to Seattle in 1981 to teach the UW chanoyu course and community tea classes. In that capacity she has managed the chanoyu programs and teahouses at the Seattle Art Museum and Seattle Japanese Garden, and served as chanoyu advisor to Everett Community College Nippon Business and Cultural Institute.
Ms. Mitchell received her professional name from SEN Soshitsu XV in 1981. The name Soshin means vitality/spirit. She received the Urasenke Seikyoju degree, (professor emeritus), in 2008.
Timothy Sowa Olson has served as the UW Chanoyu course lecturer in addition to his duties as a Chanoyu Center instructor. Olson studied English literature as an undergraduate at Portland State University and a graduate student the University of Washington. He embarked on tea studies in 1982 and received his tea name in 1999. Mr. Olson joined the East-West Chanoyu Center staff in 1999. In 2001, he was awarded the Urasenke certificate of Junkyoju, a senior rank of merit in the Way of Tea.