Asia Conference At UTC Covers Economics, Tea Ceremony

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Motohiko Kato
Motohiko Kato

Consul-General Motohiko Kato kicked off the Sixth Annual Introduction to Asia Conference at UTC on Tuesday.  Mr. Kato works to assist Japanese companies in the Volunteer state.  He also promotes cultural understanding between the United States and his home country.

During his address “Security through Peace: Postwar Japan’s Role in Fostering Global Peace and Prosperity,” Mr. Kato, who is based in Nashville, explained Japan’s 172 companies employ more than 41,000 people in Tennessee.

For those considering a career in engineering, Mr. Kato had a keen observation.  “It’s getting harder and harder to find engineers. If you visit Japanese facilities, you will see the big robots working. And you need engineers to fix those,” he said.

After a day of informative speakers at the Asia Conference, the crowd at the UC Auditorium enjoyed learning about a traditional tea ceremony in Japan.  Asami Nakano and Tae Maruyama worked together to prepare and serve three guests on stage. 

Ms. Nakano is the UTC Japan Outreach Initiative Coordinator. She visits Chattanooga area schools to promote the art and culture of her native country.  Ms. Murayama has been performing the Japanese tea ceremony since she was 10 years old. She became an instructor of the ceremony in 1992 and a master in 2006.

Tea drinking ceremonies date back to the 16th century in Japan.  Historically, the host of a traditional tea ceremony was male, but in modern times more women carry out the duties of host. 

A tea scoop and a whisk fashioned from bamboo are used to prepare the tea, while a silk cloth is used to handle the hot tea pot and clean utensils.  No music is played during the ceremony, natural sounds are preferred.

Ms. Nakano explained in the room where the ceremony occurs, guests crawl through an opening so that no person stands higher than another, all are equal.  Hands are washed in the tea garden before beginning.

There are four principles of the tea ceremony:

?(wa)- harmony—Nakano explained a guest should “open your mind and get along with the host and other guests.”

?(kei)- respect—this includes thanking the host for making the tea and acknowledging the guest at your side.

?(sei)- purity—not only should you wash your hands, you should wash your mind and use this opportunity to slow down and refresh as you enjoy the presence of friends.

?(jyaku)- tranquility—the tea ceremony is helpful in achieving a stable and well balanced life.

One of the guests at the UTC tea ceremony enjoyed learning this ancient practice.  Bengt Carlson, Experiential Learning coordinator, confirmed that the green tea served was “pleasant to drink.

Tae Maruyama and Asami Nakano during a traditional tea ceremony in Japan
Tae Maruyama and Asami Nakano during a traditional tea ceremony in Japan

Sorority Feeds A Multitude For Thanksgiving

Every year, Gamma Theta Sigma Chapter selects a few families to bless with a meal for Thanksgiving Day.  This year, the sorority decided to make a larger impact by blessing the “House that Love Built” with a monetary donation to Mary’s Pantry.  "The timing was perfect because the donation will be doubled thanks to two donors who committed to match donations to help the ... (click for more)

Von Streber Named Crosby Scholar

Lee University student Guilherme von Streber was the recipient of the 2015 Crosby Scholarship, presented by Lee President Dr. Paul Conn during a chapel service.  The Crosby Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Dr. Henry Crosby, a close friend of Dr. Conn and his wife Darlia. Faculty members nominate a young man entering his junior year for the scholarship. ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Trustee Asks Use Of Funds From Clinic Sale To Obtain DISH Funds

The trustee for Hutcheson Medical Center is asking to use proceeds from the sale of the Chickamauga Clinic in order to help obtain Disproportionate Share (DISH) funds from the state of Georgia. Trustee Ronald Glass said, in order to get $1,138,159 in DISH funds, the hospital must transfer $369,333 through the Hospital Authority of Catoosa, Walker and Dade Counties. He noted ... (click for more)

Man, 56, Stabbed At The Corner Of North Market, Frazier Avenue

A 56-year-old man was stabbed at the corner of North Market Street and Frazier Avenue on Wednesday night. Chattanooga Police were advised of the altercation at 7 p.m. Police located a single victim, Danny Henderson, suffering from a stab wound to the abdomen.  T he victim was transported to a local hospital where he received treatment for his injuries. ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)