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FOCUS ON: Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden (Transcript)

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Sacramento State’s Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden, located in the University Library, was dedicated on June 2, and provides a unique cultural experience.

The tea room and garden serves as a unique venue for the teaching and practice of the Japanese Way of Tea, as well as a center for cultural activities related to the arts of Japan.

Surrounded by ancient Japanese artifacts, the participant is steeped in the rich history of the ceremony, a meditative ritual that is designed to nourish both body and soul.


(Narrator:) From the campus of Sacramento State this is Focus.


(Jim Finnerty, reporting:) A Japanese tea ceremony is a formal and traditional experience. And Sacramento State’s new Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room is one of just a handful of tea rooms on American university campuses.

(Timothy P. Fong, Sacramento State Asian American Studies Program:) “The tea ceremony is a 1500 year old practice and Sac State is honored to maintain and enhance that practice here in the United States”

(Finnerty:) The tearoom and adjacent garden are a gift from an anonymous donor. Practitioners of the tradition from San Francisco’s Urasenke Foundation conduct the ceremonies.

(Tamara Front Trujillo, Library Dean:) “Let them know a little bit about the history of tea and what to expect as a guest to tea. The tea room from earliest times is a place where people gather to share ideas, to talk.”

(Finnerty:) The tea room includes traditional Japanese woodwork and an extensive collection of tea ware. The ceremonies are accessible to students and the public through university programs and extension course work. The experience involves an understanding of culture and the acceptance of diversity.

(Christy Bartlett, Director, San Francisco Urasenke Foundation:) “Harmony in Japan and especially in the culture of tea is created through contrast. That is to say, if everything had the same quality to it. It would be boring.”

(Finnerty:) The Japanese garden, just outside the tea room, completes the experience for many visitors.

(Patricia Clark-Ellis, Tea Room Guest:) “I looked outside the class, the greenery, the beautiful plants and it was just tranquil. I always think of tea as being very civilized and that’s what I enjoyed.”

(Finnerty:) This is Jim Finnerty Reporting

(Narrator:) For more information on this and other news from Sacramento State visit our website.

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