MEXICO CITY – Sen Genshitsu, a prominent tea ceremony master, performed Saturday in Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral to promote world peace.
During the ceremony, which was also held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his introduction of tea ceremonies to Latin America, the tea was first offered at the altar to pray for world peace and harmony, and then offered to St. Felipe, who was martyred in Nagasaki in 1597.
” ‘Chado’ (tea ceremony) was started as an act for peace,” Genshitsu, a former grand master of Japan’s Ura Senke tea ceremony group, said after the performance. “These days, I feel particular indignation over the war in Iraq.”
He said he also wanted to dedicate the tea to St. Felipe to comfort the soul of the saint who was persecuted in Japan. St. Felipe was the first Mexican saint and is the patron saint of the Mexican capital.
Genshitsu, 81, the 15th Ura Senke master who was formerly known as Sen Soshitsu and transferred his title to his son in 2002, has traveled overseas on more than 250 occasions.
He first visited Latin America in 1954 to spread the peaceful ideals represented in chado, which tea ceremony performers express as “peacefulness through a bowl of tea.”
The tea ceremony was held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Latin American’s Ura Senke group, called Tanko-kai.
Around 200 people from Japan, Mexico, the United States, Canada, Peru, Argentina and Brazil took part in the ceremony.