To coincide with the Japan: Art and Inspiration exhibition at Kirkcudbright Galleries running from 30 March to 9 June, The Galleries welcomed Mio Shudo, Rumi McIntyre and Hiromi Moffat to Kirkcudbright to hold an authentic traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony at the Galleries on 6 April.
Urasenke Japanese Tea Master Mio, alongside her two colleagues Rumi and Hiromi, took participants through the process of a Japanese Tea Ceremony.
The event was at capacity, with participants to the Tea Ceremony seated around the centre of the room, with the tatami mat in the middle. The audience were given the opportunity to make their own Matcha Green Tea, being guided on whisking the powder before adding the hot water.
Accompanying the performance was live traditional music, from a Shamisen Guitar (three stringed guitar) which was played by Hiromi Moffat, who also sung traditional Japanese songs.
Councillor Andy Ferguson, Chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee, commented on the event;
“It was a unique experience, which adds to the authenticity of the Japan: Art and Inspiration Exhibition. It was great that Mio, Rumi and Hiromi had a chance to visit the exhibition themselves as they recognized many of the artefacts and thoroughly enjoyed witnessing Japanese and Scottish connections in art.”
Mio Shudo commented;
“To have the opportunity to bring and share a traditional Urasenke Chado Japanese Tea Ceremony to the Kirkcudbright Galleries was very much a joy for us. Within the precise and simple tea ceremony is a gift to Kirkcudbright and this is a ‘cup of peace and tranquillity’. Sharing, respecting and learning from each other’s cultures is an essential part of peace making. The essence of the Japanese Tea Ceremony is hospitality with the intention of providing an unforgettable experience that can never be repeated and is very much being in the now. In Japanese this is understood as ‘ichi go ichi e’ – a once in a life time meeting.”
Councillor John Martin, Vice Chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee said;
“This event brought many people from the region together to celebrate and learn a special Japanese tradition. The community embraced Mio, Rumi and Hiromi and it was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion.”
Mio, Rumi and Hiromi spent the morning in Kirkcudbright exploring the harbour and the Moat Brae and collecting flowers for their flower arrangement displays which is also an important aspect to their Tea Ceremony Experience.
Mio went on to say;
“We very much enjoyed the collections being exhibited in ‘Japan: Art and Inspiration’ and take the view that the public experience of the exhibition and the events programme such as the Japanese Tea Ceremony will contribute to a deeper insight and understanding of Japanese art and culture. Through what we saw ourselves we also became aware of the cultural exchange that the Kirkcudbright Galleries programme was facilitating. We will never forget the friendship, warmth and kindness we experienced on our short visit and especially the number of people who stopped us in the streets of Kirkcudbright to talk to us and asked to take photos of us. The colourful kimonos seemed to be an attraction out with the Galleries! Children were waving to us! It was also wonderful to see some of the audience turn up wearing kimono like clothing.”