Okeiko in Cairo – お稽古 (Tea Practice)
Around the end of May, I got the great privilege of attending one of Cairo’s Tea Practice weekly sessions. Thanks to M-sensei of Japan Foundation Cairo, for introducing me to N-san, who welcomed me to join their lovely group.
The origin of the group dates back to 20 years ago or so, when the first sensei worked on making tea practice possible by ordering the tatmi mats, and the basic utensils, which grew over the years to include many items.
Each member gets to practice on the tatami mats, and on the Ryurei table, which is a form developed in the late 19th century that both the host and guest can be seated during tea making. It was created by Gengensai (11th Urasenke Tea Master) to cater for the tourists who started coming to Kyoto during the Meiji era.
The practice sessions take place on weekly basis, at the same building of Japan Foundation, down town Cairo.
It was nice using an Egyptian made Chawan, which had a very nice and easy to use shape, with an interesting glaze, and rough drawing.
The dark green spots on the inner part of the Chawan, are actually from the glaze.
Two practice sessions taking place simultaneously, which brought me back to the Japan days.
In this form of tea making, a host assistant (hanto) usually sits next to the host to deliver the prepared tea to the guests.
With the closure of the fresh water container, the form comes to an end.
Thanks for a lovely experience, and hope to share with you more tea in the near future, either in Cairo or Amman.