What is “Yen for Japan” and Why

Japan Tea ceremony

It’s a meetup that I started at The Collective starting this month.

The spiel says,

“Calling All Fans Of The Learning Circle! Join For Our First Gathering To Discover All Things Japanese With Like-Minded Japanophiles. The Group Will Meet Up Every Second Wednesday Of The Month From 6-7:30 To Share In Conversations And Demonstrations On All Subjects From Traditions, Foods, Culture & Craft To Language & Travel Exploration. The Group Will Collectively Guide The Future Topics They Wish To Explore.”

Why did I decide to start this meet up?

At the Collective, I often run into somebody who is eager to speak Japanese to me, or to share with me of his/her experience living or visiting Japan.  Some of their stories are familiar, but some of them are totally surprise to me.

Introducing Japan’s tradition in the modern lifestyle is the mission of Five Senses Foundation.  But I don’t have to be the only one introducing it.  What if we can create a small but intimate group where each one of us can share his/her own experience about Japan?  Five Senses is merely a facilitator. The show can be run by everyone!

Hence the meetup “Yen for Japan.” Many thanks to my husband for coming up with this title.  I didn’t know until he told me that “yen” can mean “yarning” or “craving.”

Last night was the first gathering, and the topic was “The Art Of Tea, Secrets Of Japanese Tea Ceremony.”  Three people showed up, plus my moral support Carol. (Thank you, Carol!)  After introducing ourselves to each other, we paired up, and started a role play of a host and a guest.  The host learns how to serve the guest a piece of sweet, then a bowl of tea.   The guest learns how to receive and enjoy them.  Then we switch the role.

After everyone tried to be a host and a guest, we started a casual conversation of what they thought of the experience.  No particular scenario, but what an insightful conversation!  Definitely I would like to continue this casual gathering and see what it will lead us to.

Nina, Kai, Satoko, thank you for joining us last night.  Let’s get together again.  What is the topic next month?  Let me think of it, based upon what you have written in the feedback card!

Andy, Bill, I hope you can join us next month.  And whoever else is interested is welcome, too!

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