May 14 2008

Japanese tea ceremony planned at Sacramento State

The next tea ceremonies for Sacramento State’s Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden are 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 21; and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Thursday, May 22.

The Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden is located on the lower level of the University Library Sacramento State is one of only a few campuses in the United States to have a tea room that allows students, faculty and members of the community the opportunity to experience the art of tea through traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. The Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden was made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor in honor of his mother.

“The practice of tea originated in China, was introduced to Japan in the 12th century by Zen monks and became a spiritual and aesthetic discipline that has had a profound impact on Japanese civilization,” says Sally Hitchcock, University Library outreach coordinator.

She says tea was used by the monks as a mild stimulant for clearing the mind during meditation and was valued for its medicinal qualities, then enjoyed by nobility for lavish functions. Eventually tea gatherings became common among all classes of people and thus the creation of rooms designed especially for such gatherings. Today the practice of tea is still a way for people to come together to find calmness and peace of mind.

“Since the room was dedicated in June 2007, we have held more than 20 tea ceremonies and have enjoyed hosting every age group from kindergarteners to retirees,” Hitchcock says.

For more information on tea room ceremonies, contact Hitchcock at (916) 278-5954. For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.