Today, we were given the amazing opportunity to experience an authentic tea ceremony. I've been anticipating it since we first found out it was happening and I was not disappointed. The mana shown by the women running the tea ceremony is something I will always appreciate as an agent in the growth of my world view. Mai (Shaun's home-stay buddy) told us that the tea ceremonies were used as welcoming ceremonies in the olden days but have since taken form a way to experience Japanese culture in depth. To put in perspective, tea ceremonies are the powhiris of Japan. That thought was interesting to keep in mind as the tea ceremony was carried out because I was able to make contrasts and similarities throughout the ceremony. I find it really beautiful that two different cultures both have completely different ways of welcoming people. They're different actions with the same intentions and it really goes to show the way cultures can be so differing but at the end of the day can have similarities where it matters most. Human connection is crazy beautiful when you think about it like that.
We were granted the privilege of getting dressed in traditional yukata for the tea ceremony. In my efforts to make sure I wasn't culturally appropriating, I discovered that the yukata used to be used as bath clothes but has transitioned into being clothes used for summertime and usually worn at festivals like Tanabata. The designs were all so beautiful that it was hard to choose. The elderly women then proceeded to dress us in the yukata which was hella crack up because there was a lot of communication problems but they were complimented us a lot and it melted my heart. We then had to sit in the seiza position for the ceremony which killed some people's (yall know who you are) legs. All in all though, it was such a beautiful and endearing experience that I'm so grateful to have had. The women were extremely kind and skilled at what they do. These elderly women sit in seiza for daaaays and I was struggling for 20 minutes like it really isn't an easy job to have but they pull it off with such grace. Thank you to Jishukan and Ono Sensei for giving us this opportunity and thank you to the amazing women who welcomed us to Japan in the best way. This is definitely something I'll remember for the rest of my life.
Ayyy wassup fellow dudes and dudettes! My name is Aigagalefili a.k.a Fili, a Samoan bred, Southside bound kid who's gonna be travelling to Jishukan High School in Kanagawa, Japan. Follow the Chronicles of an International Ka'a if you down with it.