Japanese Tea Ceremony
By teacher Mariko Ruzsicska
Thanks to generous support from the Northern Territory Government's International Education Innovation Grant, Darwin High School's Japanese classes were able to participate in a variety of cultural activities this year. Earlier this term students had the opportunity to experience a Tea ceremony with traditional tools and Japanese Happi making.
Yuto Tsunoda, a pre-service teacher, introduced the 'Tea ceremony' in Japanese class. Students were surprised to learn that green tea, black tea, oolong tea, matcha, and other teas are all made from the same plant, despite their distinct looks and flavour. Mr Tsunoda also explained the purpose of the tea house and its features to the class. The students realised how the design of the tea house affects the attitude and mind of the guests.
As opposed to brewing, preparing match tea was challenging and enjoyable. Students used chasens, which are bamboo whisks. Its unique design separates clumps and forms a frothy layer of foam on top of the tea. The students vigorously whisk their tea back and forth to create a foamy layer; otherwise, the tea will not foam! They were finally able to taste their Match tea with Japanese mochi sweets after working out their wrists.
A happi is a traditional Japanese coat that is usually worn at festivals. Happis are known due to their appearance in popular anime and manga. Students, on the other hand, are unfamiliar with the differences between kimono, yukata, and happi coat. The class learned about important festivals in Japan, such as Obon, and even learnt traditional dances in Happi coats and Yukata. They decided to make their own. Some students had never worked with a sewing machine before. It was a new experience, and I learned the fundamentals of sewing with it.