A cultural celebration and presentation of Japanese food and customs was highlighted recently at the residence of the ambassador of Japan Yoshimasa Tezuka and his wife Chizuru Tezuka.
The occasion was the celebration of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan which turned out to be a cultural learning experience for the large turnout of specially invited guests which included various dignitaries and Government officials.
A presentation and tutorial of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, featuring Japanese powdered green tea (Matcha tea) was featured at the gala celebration.
Tea master, Yoshino Higurashi, professor of Urasenke Tea School took guests through the steps of preparing the traditional tea. An extensive preparation was demonstrated of the steps in preparing the special brew, starting with cleaning the serving utensils. Various utensils were used including a tea bowl, tea scoop and a tea whisk.
Guests were formally served the tea brewed in beautifully designed bowls. Guests were served sweets before savouring the green tea which is well known as having a host of health benefits.
The tea ceremony is called chado in Japanese. Over hundreds of years the people of Japan have developed the tea ceremony from the simple practice of drinking tea into an all-encompassing art from influencing a wide range of activities.
The whole process is not only about drinking, but also about aesthetics preparing a bowl of tea for guests from one’s heart.
Also on the list of Japan’s tradition drink list was sake, a Japanese alcoholic drink made of fermented rice, koji and water with an alcohol content of 12 to 15 per cent. Guests enjoyed various sake including plum liqueur, unrefined sparkling wine and rice-aged sake. Earlier the celebration a sake cask was broken in a traditional symbolisation of celebration.
Various Japanese treats were also enjoyed including an assortment of sushi including Futomaki Sushi and tempura.