The students gathered with excitement as they entered the tatami mat room used by the tea ceremony club at Showa. Ash-sensei graciously introduced the history of the Japanese tea ceremony to the international students in his lecture, followed by a question and answer component. With the conclusion of the lecture, the participants rearranged themselves to sit around Ito-sensei and her tea pot to watch her demonstration on making tea for the tea ceremony. Knowing that some students may feel nervous about the tea ceremony because it appeared to be a formal process, both Ash-sensei and Ito-sensei focused on creating a comfortable atmosphere that emphasized learning and experience.
The interns, with the help of a tea ceremony club member, served the confectionaries to each participant. The confectionaries were made from bean paste and had a light, sweet, fruity taste that helped balance out the bitter taste of the matcha. Every student had a chance to make their own tea with the help of Ito-sensei, who was extremely skilled in the tea making process. Students also learned the Japanese way of bowing as a way of saying “thank you” and sitting on their legs, although some found it difficult since they were not used to sitting this way. Overall, the students found the experience to be relaxing and enjoyable.
After the students had lunch, they attended Professor Takao’s lecture on Food Distribution followed by Professor Tamura’s lecture on Design. The international students listened attentively and asked many questions throughout the lectures, with some sharing their own knowledge about the food distribution process and architectural designs from their home countries.