Last Saturday, 28 April, Duncan, Ciska and I had the pleasure of attending another fantastic event in the Kyoto sim in Second Life. This time it was the annual Kyo Odori spring dance.
Upon arrival, we were first offered wagashi followed by usucha tea. Each visitor also received a hud with the event programme.
While we were enjoying the sweets and the tea, Kikutsuru-san shared the following about the traditional Japanese tea ceremony: "The Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyo, literally 'tea hot water') is a multifaceted traditional activity strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism, in which powdered green tea, called matcha, is ceremonially prepared and served to others. A tea practitioner should strive to be knowledgeable if not an expert in the wide range of disciplines and traditional arts that are integral to chanoyo. For example, the production and types of tea, kimono, calligraphy, flower arranging, ceramics and incense in addition to his or her school's tea practices. Because of this the tea ceremony is virtually endless."
Kikutsuru-san continued: "For the Japanese the tea ceremony is and has always been a form of art. In the 16th century only men could perform it. It was meant for samurai only and it took years to learn, years and years of training and cleared mind. Like everything the Japanese do, close to perfection. The four virtues of tea are called wakeiseijaku. Wa means harmony. Kei means respect. Sei means purity. Jaku means tranquility."
More was being said about the tea ceremony, and once we finished the tea, we took our seats in the theatre hall.
We had a chance to see beautiful dances and hear the accompanying poems, after which there was a lovely short play about two girls, one from Kyoto, the other from Osaka. They each set on a journey aiming to discover what the other city was like. Meeting half-way, they mistakenly come to realization that the two cities are practically identical and not worth the visit, and so each returns to her home town, oblivious to what she'd missed... Unfortunately, I don't have any snapshots from the play itself, but I'm hoping some will be available on the Hanafusa Okiya blog.
This is the 6th time Kyo Odori has been organised in SL, but for me it was the first one I've ever attended. As with each event done by the wonderful ladies of Kyoto, the attention to detail is stunning, not to mention the love and passion with which they transport the spirit of old Japan and Kyoto's geisha district into Second Life.
To reach the Kyoto sim, you can follow this SLurl.