Sosei Matsumoto

(1916-2019) Master of chado.

Introduction to the Tea Ceremony (Japanese) Featured in a movie: "Japanese War Bride" (Japanese) Tea at the San Francisco Peace Treaty (Japanese) Passing on the motto of the Way of Tea into the next generation (Japanese) The hand-made Tea house (Japanese) Recognition as a National Living Treasure (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Sosei Matsumoto was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 21, 1916, but grew up both in Japan and in Los Angeles, California, where she spent her teenage years. She began studying Chado, or the way of tea, and moved to Kyoto, Japan to train in the Urasenke School of Chado under its grand masters. After the war, she returned to the United States with interest in popularizing tea in America. This proved difficult at first, as the Japanese American community was still struggling from experiences of World War II and internment. However, her knowledge and dedication helped to gain interest and she has been considered the authority for Chado in the United States and has appeared in exhibitions, in film and TV. She has taught over 3000 students, including about 300 who have gone on to teach Chado themselves.

She has received several honors, including the highest teaching certificate, giving her the title of Meiyo Shan (Honored Master) from the Urasenke School of Chado, the Fifth Order of the Merit (The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays) from the Emperor of Japan in November 1990 for her lifelong service to preserving Japanese culture, and the prestigious U.S. National Heritage Fellowship in 1994 – awarded to the nation’s most accomplished artists who have worked to preserve, shape and share cultural traditions. 

She passed away in February 2019 at age 103.  (March 2019)

Chado tea ceremony movie san francisco tea house Hilary Clinton Washington D.C.

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