If you ever wish to participate in a traditional Tea Ceremony if you are in the area of Tottori or in Daisen town, I highly suggest that you visit the Kodani’s home. Like many other tea specialist, Mrs. Kodani has specialized the arts of serving Macha Tea and she began her apprenticeship since she was 19 years old. She mastered the arts within 15 years, practicing it more than on a weekly basis.
Mrs. Kodani, who officially comes from Yonago, found passion in the behaviour and practices of Zen and her love for Sen-cha and Macha directed her to this incredible hobby. She explains that teaching tea culture is really intense for both the teacher and student, because there are so many components involved. These include interior designing, gardening, calligraphy, etiquette, and much more. “When you become a tea master” she explains, “it is really a lifestyle you pursuit”.
As a master herself, she currently teaches high-school students the arts of tea as an after-school activity. Mrs. Kodani really enjoys this, but at the same time it can be quite challenging, “Kids aren’t the same these days anymore” she acclaimed, “that is why it is important that they learn manners and understand Japanese culture in a traditional way, I think this can be very beneficial to them”
Her husband Mr.Kodani expresses his immense gratification for his wife’s specialty, “although I am more of a coffee drinker since I drink 5 cups per day, I really enjoy this tea culture. My grandmother also used to make tea and the accompanying sweets and this was the iconic thing about her that all the kids love. So to me tea culture is something I truly enjoy because of the nostalgic value it holds, and it is very heartwarming. It also helps create a tight community since you enjoy it with many people. Thanks to my wife, I get to know many people and therefore it is always enjoyable.”
The Kodani’s are also a part of a culture exchange program where they host guests in exchange for their labor. Many guests from all over the world have stayed with them and for the cost of their stay, they do a range of work such as house chores, gardening, farming, teaching english, etc. This program allows guests to stay in their beautiful house and really experience the culture of Japan. If you are interested in this kind of home-stay, you can try to find them at WWOOF Japan. Make sure that you refer to the Tottori region.