Japanese Tea Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. – The coldest day of the winter couldn’t stop 29 internationally minded women from savoring a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

The event, held at the UPF Peace Embassy on January 8, 2015, was a collaboration between Universal Peace Federation and Welcome Clubs International, an umbrella organization representing women’s clubs around the world.  Its members share a common goal of cross-cultural knowledge, understanding and friendship.

Tomiko Duggan, UPF director of public affairs, welcomed the guests warmly and explained how the tea ceremony, or Cha-no-Yu, was developed as The Way of Tea, which is considered a guide on how to live in peace and harmony and obtain a heart of tranquility. The practice was developed by the Zen monk Shuko Murata in the 11th century by elevating the Mandarin practice of drinking tea into a spiritual discipline.

Mrs. Marina Oberlander, an Ambassador for Peace, had invited the members of WCI’s local branch, called Welcome to Washington International Club.  A former photographer for Washingtonian magazine, she once had stayed in Japan for a month, traveling to several cities to take photos for the magazine.  She said she was thrilled to learn more about the Japanese tea ceremony.

In the Peace Embassy, which was decorated in the Japanese style, the ceremony was performed by several UPF volunteers wearing traditional costumes.  Most of the guests said that they were drinking green tea for the first time.  Susan Fefferman, an Ambassador for Peace volunteer, spoke about UPF Founders Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and Dr. Moon’s autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, was presented as a gift to each of the guests.  An excellent Japanese lunch followed, with much enjoyable discussion.

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