KYOTO — Tea expert Soko Izumi, the younger brother of tea Grand Master Zabosai Sen Soshitsu XVI, died of kidney failure at a Kyoto hospital early Sunday, his family said. He was 44.

A native of Kyoto, Izumi studied literature at Doshisha University and later founded a new family line named Izumi in 1985.

He appeared on television programs to promote Kyoto cuisine and tea cakes in a bid to reflect the Urasenke tradition of tea in modern society.

Izumi served as chairman of the International Chado Culture Foundation, deputy chief of the Konnichian organization and in other posts. He also taught “the way of tea” at Chinese schools as a visiting professor.

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