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Japanese tea ceremonies are a cultural experience


Tea ceremony photo album

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Sacramento State’s Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room, at the University Library, will host a series of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies this semester beginning Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The ceremonies are free and open to the public. For reservations, call Sally Hitchcock, the Library’s community outreach coordinator, at (916) 278-5954.

Tea Ceremony

Machi Goto, left, Sarah Stewart and Mary Ann Goodman perform a tea ceremony. (Sacramento State/Melissa Uroff)

At the ceremonies, tea masters from San Francisco’s Urasenke Foundation will demonstrate chado, or “the way of tea,” a centuries-old practice of preparing and offering steaming bowls of green tea as an expression of tranquility, harmony, purity and respect. Each presentation lasts about 75 minutes. A few attendees will be invited to join the tea masters on the tatami, or straw mat, to experience the formal tea gathering up close. They will be expected to kneel, or sit cross-legged or on one hip, for the duration.

The tea room and its adjacent Japanese garden were the gifts of an anonymous donor in honor of his late mother. He also donates the Urasenke Foundation’s fees for the ceremonies. Here is the spring schedule:

  • Feb. 25: 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • March 12: noon and 1:30 p.m.
  • March 13: noon
  • April 9: 4:30 p.m.
  • April 10: 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

For more information about the Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden, go to For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156. – Dixie Reid