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


Two Central High Seniors Earn QuestBridge Scholarships

Two Central High seniors received an early Christmas present that may be hard to match.  The two have been awarded full scholarships to prestigious universities.  Bethsahida Harrigan and Kathleen Cimino are recipients of QuestBridge 2017 National College Match Scholarships that will provide them early admission into their select university with a guaranteed full, four-year ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern Holds Fall 2017 Commencement

A chilly  Tuesday  night in Northwest Georgia saw the Dalton Convention Center in Dalton fill to capacity as more than 250 students walked the stage at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Fall Commencement Ceremony. An estimated 1,500 family and friends were on hand for the occasion. GNTC President Pete McDonald, his administration, and keynote speaker ... (click for more)

Home In Alton Park Damaged By Fire Friday Morning

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire in Alton Park Friday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around  8:30 a.m.  and responded to 4020 Highland Ave. with five fire companies. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, one of the residents of the house was concerned this his wife might still be inside. The firefighters ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Struck And Severely Injured In East Ridge Thursday Night

The East Ridge Police Department is investigating a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian being struck  at 5300 Ringgold Road on Thursday around  10 p.m. Officers arrived and found that East Ridge resident Dale Henderson had been struck by a vehicle and was suffering from severe injuries. It appears he attempted to cross Ringgold Road in front ... (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

This week, as two men greeted one another at the steps leading to a holiday party, one said, “My wife is angel,” this in keeping with the season. The other replied, “You’re lucky … mine is still alive.” Once inside, the two walked into this conversation – “We had a power outage at our house this morning. So, my PC, laptop, TV, DVD, iPad and new surround sound music system were ... (click for more)