By Michitaka Kono for The Asahi Shimbun
Mon July 14 2014

Editor’s note: This is the first of a five-part series of an interview with Sen Genshitsu, 91, who joined the kamikaze corps in World War II and was later head master of Urasenke, one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony.

At the advanced age of 91 and after escaping certain death in World War II as a kamikaze pilot, Sen Genshitsu continues to travel around the world and meet world leaders to promote peace through the “Way of Tea.”

His belief that tea has the power to help people understand each other is based on the spirit of the tea saint Sen Rikyu (1522-1591), who is said to have perfected the “wabi-cha” style of Japanese tea ceremony.

The Urasenke tea ceremony school originated from Sen Rikyu, commonly called Sen no Rikyu in Japan.

Sen Genshitsu became the 15th head master of Urasenke in 1964, two decades after training as a kamikaze pilot.

He has called for peace by holding tea ceremonies in such places as the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO headquarters. He is currently a goodwill ambassador of both UNESCO and the United Nations.


Read the rest of the article here.