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URASENKE FOUNDATION SAN FRANCISCO Chanoyu literally means “hot water for tea.” This procedure of making and drinking powdered green tea is s form, definite and regular. It cannot be defined as to content. That is for each person, each occasion to decide. While chanoyu may be a solitary activity, more often it is done within a small group of people In the words of Sen Genshitsu, fifteenth generation Head Tea Master of the Urasenke Tradition of Chanoyu, “Strange to say, this tranquility [of sitting alone] will deepen even further when another person enters the microcosm of the tearoom and joins the host....That we can find a lasting tranquility within our own selves in the company of others is the paradox.”

To make the Way of Tea accessible to all, the Urasenke Foundation in Kyoto Japan has trained qualified tea instructors and sent them to teach the Urasenke Tradition of Chanoyu outside Japan. At present the Foundation maintains direct teaching centers in twenty major cities throughout the world. In 1981, representatives Christy Bartlett and Michael Kane , were sent to San Francisco to establish and direct the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco.

Since that time, the Foundation has energetically served the Northern California community with wide-ranging programs for museums, elementary and secondary schools, universities, and numerous community groups. Programs usually are tailored to the interests and needs of each particular group. Examples include slide and/or spoken lectures on chanoyu history, esthetics, philosophy, and associated arts; hands-on workshops involving the placement of flowers for tea, the carving of bamboo tea scoops, or the preparation of tea sweets and kaiseki cuisine; seminars on topics such as teabowls, guest etiquette, or hosting tea gatherings; and of course numerous opportunities for active participation as a guest in authentic tea gatherings. Past sponsors of programs include the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, the Minneapolis Art Institute, the Denver Art Museum, the New York Chanoyu Center, UC Berkeley, Mills College and the Consulate General of Japan. Founding director, Christy Bartlett also travels throughout the United States providing similar master classes, lectures, and workshops to Urasenke Associations in North America.

The core of the Foundation is a rigorous curriculum structured to serve all those whose hearts incline towards the Way of Tea. Classes are offered to all students of any age or experience level who are interested in learning chanoyu, the art of making tea. Instruction is offered by a dedicated group of teachers, in both English and Japanese. The student body represents all ages, multiple backgrounds, and all levels of understanding.

Since chanoyu study may last a lifetime, students are encouraged to learn at their own pace, and to enjoy the quiet pleasure of sharing a bowl of tea with others. Please feel free to make an appointment to visit the San Francisco Urasenke Foundation during class hours, and to meet teachers and other students.

Within a modern gallery-like environment, the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco facilities combine East and West, the traditional and advanced guard, and include one of the few authentic eight-mat tearooms in the Bay Area. The tearoom was constructed by master carpenter Imai Makoto, with his American-trained apprentices. Most of the materials used in its construction are local West Coast. Located in the heart of North Beach, long the center of the artistic community in San Francisco, the Urasenke Foundation strives to contribute to the rich cultural milieu of the city.

More information, listings of current programs and events may be found on this website. Or to schedule a visit to the Foundation please call (415) 433-6553.



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