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25th Anniversary Chado Urasenke Tankokai Houston Commemorative Program

Updated: Nov 25, 2018

Midori Mochizuki receiving a special gift from Urasenke Japan

This year in 2018, Urasenke Tankokai Houston celebrates its 25th year.

“URASENKE TANKOKAI HOUSTON has promoted the Japanese Way of Tea for 25 years”


CHADO, the Way of Tea, has been exemplified by the Urasenke Tankokai organization on their 25thanniversary celebration, in the City of Houston Texas. This three day-plus event highlighted the ancient art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony to distinguished VIPs, loyal Urasenke members, and the general public.


The second day continued the Urasenke celebration at the Westin Memorial City Hotel. The excitement of the day, culminated in receiving actual Tea “Teicha” to honor the VIPS and all the attendees.

The 25th Anniversary Chado Urasenke Tankokai Houston Luncheon began with a welcome message from Ms. Tomoe VonGruenigen, the designated Mistress of Ceremonies (MC).

Mr. Kazuo Machida Soho, Gyotei, Oiemoto, made opening remarks on this special occasion. He mentioned that the greater Urasenke worldwide organization has bestowed great honor to the local Urasenke Tankokai Houston for assembling such a worthwhile event. Although Mr. Soho spoke in Japanese, English translation was graciously provided by the MC.

The honor continued as the VIPS were acknowledged on stage to receive Tea “Teicha” and to recognize each VIP’s background. The on-stage VIPs mentioned are as follows:

The Honorable Ichiro Fujisaki, Former Ambassador to the United States, President Japan America Society Tokyo.

Honorable Hideo Fukushima, Consul General from Japan to Houston

Mrs. Kaori Fukushima

Mr. Kazuo Machida Soho, Gyotei, Representative from Oiemoto

Ms. Rona Tison, ItoEn North America

Dr. Nancy Stalker, University of Hawaii

Dr. Anne Chao, Rice University

Mr. Christopher Olson, City of Houston, Director of Trade and International Affairs

Each VIP received the Teicha Tea and Japanese sweets as part of the ceremony.

After the all-important tea ceremony, the Consul General, Hideo Fukushima, gave an introduction to his office and offered continued support for the Urasenke Houston group. He also explained he had the honor of introducing his former “boss” Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki.

This introduction led to an interesting speech by the former Ambassador, Mr. Fujisaki, as he outlined his transition from the public to private service. His stately and diplomatic memories of Ambassadorship were a marked contrast to his now private sector leadership role. As he humorously and warmheartedly commented, “he can now say whatever he wants!” In addition, Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki gave a personal summary of his own viewpoint regarding the current state of affairs throughout the world. In the end, he honored the Urasenke Houston organization and thanked them for their hard work to promote an integral part of Japanese culture.

After a wonderful lunch provided by the Westin was enjoyed by all guests and dignitaries, all attendees received Teicha tea and Japanese sweets to commemorate the occasion.

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