Posts Tagged With: Urasenke tea ceremony

Progress at Shoroan with help from Kyoto


restoring the tsukubai at Shoroan began with a survey of present conditions


Takuhiro Yamada and Philippe Nault check everything while board member Kenji Kuroshima looks on

Visiting landscaper Takuhiro Yamada, principal of Hanatoyo Landscape in Kyoto, brought a wealth of knowledge about Urasenke tea ceremony to the task to restoring the tsukubai at Shoroan. A tsukubai is an arrangement of stones, a water basin and a lantern set in a very precise manner.

First, a survey of the grounds surrounding Shoroan — the tea house built in Lili`uokalani Gardens and opened in 1997 — was conducted with all attending a hands-on workshop designed for landscapers, County park maintenance personnel, and Master Gardeners.

Next, the tsukubai area was studied in detail. It was discovered that the basin was set too low. The drain rocks were compacted and did not drain. The bamboo spout was too high. The plumbing was in need of repair. Surrounding bushes were in need of pruning. The lantern’s fire box faces the wrong direction. Most of these challenges were solved with several hours work by Hilo and Waimea landscapers under the direction of Mr. Yamada.

David Tamura and his son Troy and Robert Frost re-set a stone at Takuhiro Yamada's direction

David Tamura and his son Troy and Robert Frost re-set a stone at Takuhiro Yamada’s direction


The basin was lifted, shifted, and leveled

The basin was lifted, shifted, and leveled


Clara Koga sensei, Takuhiro Yamada, Russ Oda and Amy Nishiura test the finished stone arrangement

Clara Koga, sensei, Takuhiro Yamada, Russ Oda and Amy Nishiura test the finished stone arrangement

Plumbing repairs were completed by the County a few days later. Drainage was improved with the addition of smooth river rocks courtesy of Clayton Amemiya matching a few river rocks that were uncovered during excavation of the basin.

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Photos otherwise uncredited are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. If you choose to share this blog, please give credit.

Mahalo and arigato

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Visiting landscaper helps with Hilo garden

the way of tea

Mr. Takuhiro Yamada, president of Hanatoyo Landscape of Kyoto, will speak on tea gardens at the Hawaii Japanese Center, 751 Kanoelehua Avenue, Thursday, October 8, at 5:30 p.m. The presentation is free. Light refreshments will be served.

The presentation, “Tea Gardens — Observe the Tradition” is sponsored by Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens, Urasenke Hilo, and the Hawaii Japanese Center.

Mr. Yamada is the president of Hanatoyo Landscape, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in business six years ago.  Mr. Yamada is the fifth generation in his family to head the company. Their clients in Japan include many cultural treasures. He has designed and installed gardens in Paris, London, and Honolulu. In the mainland United States, Yamada was the designer of the new tea house garden at The Huntington Japanese garden on the occasion of the Pasadena garden’s centennial in 2012.

He continues his father’s dedication to passing on traditional skills. At the same time he is leading the company into the future with green industry techniques in rooftop gardens and green waste recycling, and the company is ISO14001 certified. Like his father before him, he is qualified as a tree doctor and is a pioneer of new tree treatments in Japan.

Takuhiro Yamada visited Lili`uokalani Gardens around Thanksgiving 2014

Takuhiro Yamada visited Lili`uokalani Gardens around Thanksgiving 2014

For further information on the tea garden talk, contact the Hawaii Japanese Center at 751 Kanoelehua Avenue in Hilo, 934-9611 or Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens at 895-8130.

On Friday, October 9, Yamada will teach a hands-on workshop in the garden surrounding Shoro-an, the Urasenke tea house in Lili`uokalani Gardens. The workshop is designed for County park maintenance personnel, local landscapers, and members of the East Hawaii Master Gardener Association.

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Third work day helps prepare for two events

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens gathered with members of Moku `Aina, the East Hawaii Master Gardeners Association, and Moku Loa Sierra Club for gardening chores to prepare Shoroan, the Urasenke tea house, for a visit of the retired Grand Master Dr. Genshitso Sen and to clean around the stone lantern from Fukushima for the annual tanabata festival.

leaf rakers

Six large trash bags were filled with ironwood needles removed from the lawn and lava around the lantern from Fukushima prefecture

Tanabata or the Star Festival is a time of wishing for good things and peace, according to Walter Tachibana of Fukushima-Ken. Strings of colorful paper cranes are hung on bamboo branches placed beside the ishi-doro (stone lantern) from Fukushima. Traditionally the festival is held on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.

By the end of this recent work session, 17 trash bags were filled with green waste and trash from four different project areas.

The area to which the most attention was paid during the past three months was the Urasenke tea house, Shoroan. A total of 28 volunteers worked 112 hours in the tea house garden to help prepare for the visit of Dr. Genshitsu Sen, retired XV Grand Master of Urasenke, on July 22.

Shoroan July 2014

Before the third work day, a few wild hairs on the bushes indicate the need for a light trimming
photo by Bill Eger

day three

By the end of the work day, all the bushes were trimmed and all the weeds on the paths were pulled


Dr. Genshitsu Sen, retired XV Grand Master of Urasenke, enjoys a bowl of tea with Russ Oda, Rev. Jeffrey Soga, Art Taniguchi and Hiroshi Suga in Shoroan

Dr. Sen congratulates Philippe Nault on four otemae (the artful performance of tea ceremony) outdoors in Lili`uokalani Gardens

Dr. Sen congratulates Kumiko Sugawara and Philippe Nault on four otemae (the artful performance of tea ceremony) outdoors in Lili`uokalani Gardens

The next volunteer day is scheduled for Saturday, August 16, from 8 a.m. to noon. The focus of the next chore list will be preparing for the annual Queen Lili`uokalani Festival held in early September.

To volunteer, please contact K.T. Cannon-Eger at 895-8130.

Volunteers gather to discuss the day's projects at 8 a.m. photo by Bill Eger

Volunteers gather to discuss the day’s projects at 8 a.m.
photo by Bill Eger

Additional projects worked on so far include pruning of small trees; fertilizing azalea and camellia throughout the park; beginning removal of weeds from the edges of the ponds; replacement of a dislodged stone in the stepping stone path that goes through the water; repainting of parking lot lines; removal of invasive pest species from the roofs of several shelters and from the arched stone bridge. In all, including the tea house projects, 54 volunteers put in a total of 216 hours in the first three work days at Lili`uokalani Gardens.

Donations of nearly $550 in plants, materials and tools were received from Home Mart-Keaau Ace Hardware, Mountain Meadows Nursery, Rozett’s Nursery, and members of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens. The tools were added to the County park’s tool shed for use in Lili`uokalani Gardens.

pond wide view

The cultural landscape of Lili`uokalani Gardens is nearly 100 years old. Plans are in the works for centennial celebrations in 2017
photo by Bill Eger

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Festival in Hilo celebrates Queen Lili`uokalani’s 175th birthday

The annual Queen Lili`uokalani Festival — He Hali`a Aloha no Lili`uokalani — will be held in Lili`uokalani Gardens Saturday, September 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Festival Poster 2013

Queen Lili`uokalani was born on September 2, 1838, installed as Queen Monarch on January 29, 1891, and entered into eternal sleep on November 11, 1917.

“The daylong festival includes music, hula, arts, crafts, food, demonstrations, children’s games and cultural activities,” according to Roxcie L. Waltjen, Culture Education Administrator for the County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation.

Sponsored by the County of Hawai`i, Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, and Hawai`i Tropical Flower Council, the free festival also will feature local entertainment, taiko and Urasenke tea ceremony.

“Entertainment throughout the day will include Darlene Ahuna, Kukulu Kumuhana O Puna, Taishoji Taiko, Komakakino, Ulu’au, Waiakea Ukulele Band, Mark Yamanaka and Kahulanui.”

“A bountiful variety of local foods such as Hawaiian plate, Portuguese bean soup, kalua pig with cabbage, hot dogs, bread pudding, smoked meat bentos, chili, saimin, fried poi balls, Spam musubi, smoothies, shave ice, cotton candy, malasadas, popcorn , baked goods along with other delicious, mouth watering specialties  will be included on the day’s menu,” said Waltjen.

“Hula is the major focus of the Festival and each year,” Waltjen said. “Festivities are kicked off with a mass hula featuring more than 400 hula dancers scattered throughout the Park performing “E Lili’u E” and the Aloha Week Hula.  Dancers from throughout the State and Japan dance together symbolizing the Queen’s vision to share the Hawaiian culture with the rest of the world.  During this performance, more than 50,000 orchid blossoms rain from the skies above the park.

Mass hula will involve the following halau: Na Po`e A`o Hiwa, Halau Na Pua Uluhaimalama, Kamehameha Schools Performing Arts — Elementary, Hula Halau O Hilo Hanakahi, Hula Halau O Kahikilaulani, Ka Hula O Nawahine Nohopuukapu, Kamehameha Schools Performing Arts — High School, Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna, Halau Ha`akea O Akala, Halau Hula O Kawananakoa, Hula Halau Lei Hiwahiwa O Kuu Aloha, and Halao O Kawaila`ahia.

Parking is at a premium in the Banyan Drive area. Additional parking and shuttle service is available at the Ahfook-Chinen Civic Auditorium a short distance away.

In addition to the County of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani Children’s Center, and the Hawaii Tropical Flowers Council, other partners in the event include Pacific Radio Group, Hilo Fire Extinguishers, and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.

“The Culture & Education Division of Hawaii County invites all to come and celebrate the birthday of our last reigning monarch,” Waltjen said. “Come experience the culture, pageantry, history, demonstrations, hands-on activities and the unique blending of our Island people. We promise fun for the whole family!”

For more information, contact the Hawai`i County Culture and Education Office at 961-8706.

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens will be on hand to begin a survey of park users assisted by the East Hawaii Island Master Gardeners Association.

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