Windows on Tea: Online Lecture by Urasenke Tea Master Kimura Sōkei
In conjunction with the exhibition ‘Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan' on display in the Gallery from 1 December 2021 – 10 April 2022, Japan House London explores the relationship between windows and tea, with a special lecture by tea master Kimura Sōkei from the London branch of Urasenke, one of the major tea schools in Japan.
Chashitsu, the Japanese teahouse, has a distinctive structure which allows for many types of windows to be featured within a small area. With the evolution of architectural design, teahouses offered opportunities for freedom of window design, including styles such as maru-mado (round windows), renji-mado (windows with vertical wooden slats) and many others.
Chashitsu are designed to be used for chadō (or chanoyu), the Japanese way of tea: a teahouse is designed in such a way that guests can sit comfortably for several hours. It provides various design elements subtly concealed in the room, making the best use of its minimal space.
In this event guests are introduced to a lesser-known aspect of chadō, as Kimura Sōkei explains how windows interact with the space by diffusing the changing, natural light within a small enclosure, and the connection between the architecture of the teahouse and the Japanese way of tea.
The exhibition ‘Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan' features okoshi-ezu (flip-up architectural models) of different teahouses and is on display on the Lower Ground Floor of Japan House London from 1 December until 10 April 2022.
About the speaker
Born in 1955, Kimura Sōkei graduated from Bunka Gakuin and in 1991 joined Urasenke Foundation. He worked as instructor for the Urasenke New York Centre between 1994 and 1997, when he became representative of the London Branch of Urasenke. He works mainly in the UK and Europe introducing chadō, the way of tea, through presentations and lectures.