Japan Society of Fairfield County
Genjiro Day at Bush Holley House 6/20/09

Harry and Junko      On June 20th, we enjoyed a unique “Day of Genjiro Eto” with the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich at the Bush Holley House Museum to highlight Eto’s art works and contribution to Cos Cob community where he used to stay from 1896 until 1901. About 30 participants had gathered and enjoyed the afternoon of the Japanese cultural day.
     The event had started with a presentation by Harry Sakamaki and Junko Uezumi to introduce his profile and works via Kamishibai,  a traditional Japanese paper theater show which was created by a team of our members and volunteers from the Japanese School led by Harry and supported by Uezumi fund.
     Then we divided into two groups. One group had a tour of  led by a docent and the other participated a Japanese flower arrangement hands-on workshop led by our member Atsuko Giampaoli who has a teaching certificate of the Sogetsu-ryu School assisted by Marilyn Moore.
     The Genjiro tour covered how Cos Cob Art Colony was formed and how Genjiro contributed to the newly born American Impressionist Movement by teaching the Japanese painting technique.
Flower arranging      The flower arrangement participants were given two dark purple iris flowers, a vase, a pig frog, and a few pebbles. Atsuko explained the philosophy of the arrangement by telling each represents conceptual beauty of nature by showing a graphical text book. Initially they were a little perplexed; however, they are able to create their own presentation of iris flowers blooming in a pond in a quiet country side.
Tea Ceremony      As a final program, the whole group got gathered in a large class room and sat semi-circle to watch and listen the art of the Japanese tea ceremony. The tea set was arranged on the tatami mat against the natural light coming from windows, a simply arranged flower and a kettle is hamming over a hearth like a Koto music echoing in the room. Bill Jarvis, JSFC member and a holder of high ranking certificate of Chamei of Urasenke, started by telling the history of the tea ceremony with humorous tone followed by serving a lovely looking confectionary to each guest. While the guests enjoyed the confectionary, Bill quietly started to scoop green tea powder maccha using a chashaku into the bowl, added hot water, and whisked rhythmically with a chasen. The tea was prepared and served to each guest. All of them enjoyed the warm dark green tea in the tranquility atmosphere.
     Everyone went left with satisfaction and with their own flower arrangement.
Harry Sakamaki

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