Learn about the history, culture, and art of ocha (Japanese tea) and wagashi (Japanese sweets) in this special lecture and presentation at the JICC.
Yoshitaka Nishino, the head confectioner of Matsukawaya, a Japanese confectionery, will present on the history of wagashi as well as the ingredients and techniques that go into crafting these exquisite works of art. This will be followed by a presentation on the history and culture of Japanese tea by Teaism.
There are many ways to experience a culture. Each culture’s distinct flavor can been seen in its customs, lifestyles, food, and industry. For some, culture is experienced in the rhythm of life or through its products.
However, food is the most revealing aspect of culture and there is no better way to experience it than through tea, that universal "sensory experience" enjoyed by people around the world. Tea has been enjoyed in Japan for nearly a thousand years and Japan’s distinct cultural flavor is evident in its "tea culture."
There are two essential ingredients of tea culture in Japan: ocha (tea) and wagashi (sweets). The history and culture of both are intimately connected and that is what this program hopes to bring to you. See, learn, and experience these important cultural ingredients with masters and artisans from the lead makers of ocha and wagashi.
Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets, which portray the season with their shape, color, and ingredients. They are works of art designed to appeal to all the senses with their appearance, flavor, aroma, feel, and the sounds of their names and why they are also known as the "art of the five senses." Usually accompanied by Japanese ocha (tea), wagashi are an essential part of Japanese culture and tradition.
Please note that there will not be any products available for purchase at the JICC.
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for security purposes. Doors open at 6:00 PM and will close once seating is full or promptly at 7:00 PM. Lecture begins at 6:30 PM. Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat.
About Matsukawaya Co., Ltd.
Matsukawaya Co., Ltd. is an award-winning Japanese confectionery that was founded in 1862 in Nagoya, Japan. They strive to pass down and convey the important traditional Japanese culture of Wagashi, and to enrich the lives of all people by creating the enjoyment and deliciousness that is Wagashi, based on the beauty of nature and the four seasons of Japan. Matsukawaya recently opened a shop in Teaism in Penn Quarter.
Teaism is a collection of teahouse-restaurants first opened in June of 1996 by Michelle Brown and Linda Neumann. Teaism is based in Washington, D.C. and specializes in serving high-quality loose leaf teas with healthy, affordable meals that draw from the cultures of tea. Teaism cooks from scratch daily and offers over 50 loose leaf teas. Teaism was named for the philosophy of tea culture expounded by Kakuzo Okakura, and is particularly proud of the quality of their Japanese teas. While Teaism’s concept has always been global, the teahouses have had a heavy Japanese influence since their inception. You can visit Teaism locations at Dupont Circle, across from Lafayette Park, in Penn Quarter, and at Union Market.
About Myokoen Co., Ltd
Myokoen Co., Ltd. is a tea company from Nagoya that was established in 1916. Their motto is "tea enriches the heart" and use their delicate mixing technology to produce some of the finest teas in Japan.