Madame Sosei Matsumoto, one of the nation’s most influential masters of Chado or “the way of tea”, conducted the opening ceremony of the Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden. She is pictured with Tim Fong, director of Sacramento State’s Asian American Studies program.
Two weeks of special events and tours will mark the opening of Sacramento State’s new Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden, one of just a handful of tea rooms on a U.S. campus.
There will be tea ceremonies on Saturday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 13 (reservations required – call (916) 278-5954), and additional tea ceremonies and tours are being scheduled throughout the coming months. A private opening ceremony was conducted June 2 by Madame Sosei Matsumoto, one of the nation’s most influential and respected masters of Chado or “the way of tea”.
Located in the University Library, the Nakatani Tea Room and Garden were part of a generous gift provided by an anonymous donor, who also contributed artifacts including kimonos, teaware and writings.
The room and garden are named in honor of Sokiku Nakatani, a dedicated tea ceremony practitioner who was a long-time resident of the Sacramento area. Nakatani was also a student of Sosei Matsumoto, who led the ceremony on Saturday.
“It’s a very beautifully built room that brings an added cultural dimension to the campus. It allows us to play a part in preserving a valuable tradition,” says Timothy P. Fong, director of Sacramento State’s Asian American Studies program.
Fong says the tea room is a state-of-the-art facility, with two cameras and a large screen monitor allowing every audience member to see the tea ceremony from various perspectives. A planned third overhead camera will provide close-up views of the complex hand movements and intricate gestures of the host/teacher preparing and serving the tea. A new website (library.csus.edu/tearoom) includes photos and information about the teaware collection, and will eventually include features such as a virtual tour.
The room and garden will also be used for cultural education programs, lectures and special events.
The garden features traditional Japanese woodwork.
“This is so extraordinary, to have a tea room right here on campus for people to experience directly,” says Tamara Frost Trujillo, the University Library’s acting director. “In addition to the tea ceremonies, we’re excited about the possibilities for developing other programming focused on Japanese culture.”
The tea room, designed by local architect Ed Kado, is located on the lower level of the University Library. The garden projects out the north side and those walking by can glimpse traditional Japanese woodwork by Jay Van Arsdale of Oakland.
For information about the teaware and kimono collections, contact Special Collections and University Archives at (916) 278-6144. For more about the Tea Room and Gardens, visit its website at library.csus.edu/tearoom or contact Sally Hitchock in the University Library at (916) 278-5954.
For media assistance, contact public affairs at (916) 278-6156. Images of the opening ceremony are at www.csus.edu/news/imagedownload.