Saturday, January 1, 2011


I am incredibly thankful to, and forever indebted to my parents.

For many years they've tried to get their head around this thing called 'sadō', and just why their son's gone off on a tangent down the 'Way of Tea'.

Melbourne doesn't offer the most congenial environment for sadō. No tea houses, no tatami rooms easily converted into venues for tea gatherings, no regular tea gatherings for the public (yet!).

The challenges for establishing sadō practice and culture in Melbourne for me, have been the opportunities to understand what this 'sadō' thing is about for my parents.

For example, when I returned to Australia the first clear challenge was seiza - the formal Japanese sitting position - that is used in the tea ceremony. No Aussie grows up kneeling with their lower legs folded under their thighs and buttocks.

Sitting in seiza performing the tea ceremony.

It was inevitable tea gatherings, events and demonstrations in Western culture would have to be in the form of tea ceremony performed at a table while sitting on a stool. Each tradition of tea has their specific style of table (called ryurei), and transporting the Japanese lacquer table of the Ueda Sōko Tradition to Oz isn't an option.

My Dad's pretty handy with wood. Mum's pretty handy with finishing off finer details. I'm passionate.
The first challenge was making the necessity of a tea ceremony table a reality. . .

The finished product can be seen at our events around Melbourne, but here's a pic before the ryurei table was christened with a tea ceremony. It's Dad in one of his rare immodest moments, in a photo I affectionately title 'Ryurei nara, ore ni makasero!' (立礼なら、俺に任せろ!) or 'For tea ceremony tables, I'm you're man!'

Since the table there's been many more challenges and opportunities. Together we've made banners, folding screens, items specific to orally transmitted ceremonies of the Ueda Sokō Tradition, and more.

Clearly I can never repay them for their efforts in making the necessities of samurai tea culture a reality; and for their willingness to understand the unique art of samurai tea.

Thank you m( _ _ )m
Thank you m( _ _ )m
Thank you m( _ _ )m

We've just launched into our biggest project yet. In 2011 we're taking the challenge and opportunity to build a transportable tea house. Here's some images of the initial work. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

One day closer to the breakout of burning flames of samurai spirit and samurai tea in Melbourne!

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