Way of Tea Center

page last updated Spring 2024

Dr. Genshitsu SEN (Sōshitsu XV) International Way of Tea Center

Jaku’an Tea House in the Seien Japanese Garden
Photo Credit: Mark A. Levin, 2022

The Way of Tea Center, established in 2001, is organized within the Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), under the supervision of the CJS Director. The Way of Tea Center has an international focus and serves to assist CJS in fulfilling its mission of promoting a deeper understanding of Japan within a global context. Specifically, the Way of Tea Center educates students and helps to perpetuate tea culture while fostering a deeper awareness of Japanese culture and international understanding.

The Center aids in coordinating existing and new resources and activities related to the practice of tea, such as:

  • The Way of Tea Practicum Course (ASAN 324) which is taught every semester in the academic year in the Asian Studies Department
  • Tea ceremony demonstrations
    • Sponsorship of the Chanoyu Outreach Project by offering tea ceremony demonstrations at the UH Mānoa campus. These ceremonies are conducted in cooperation with Ms. Akiko Ono, Kyoju (Professor) of the Urasenke School and a member of the Urasenke Hawaiʻi Association.

To follow the undergraduate student-run Way of Tea Club at UH Mānoa, please visit their website at: https://uhmteaclub.weebly.com/. Members are dedicated to the study of traditional Urasenke-style Chado under the instruction of Ms. Akiko Ono.

Jaku’an news and updates:

Tea with Kabuki Masters at Jaku’an Tea House

[Friday, April 26, 2024]

The Way of Tea Club invited CJS Faculty and Professor of Theatre Julie Iezzi, Kabuki Master Ichikawa Monnosuke VIII, Mrs. Yukika Soma, Kabuki Master Ichikawa Komazo XI, and CJS staff to the Jaku’an Tea House on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 for a tea ceremony. It was an honor to be served tea alongside two Kabuki masters, both here in Hawai’i supporting The Maiden Benten and the Bandits of the White Waves, a famous Kabuki production now in English at Kennedy Theatre until April 28, and made possible by the hard work of Dr. Iezzi and many others, includingCJS Graduate Students, MFA, and PhD students.


Read more…

A remarkable week for CJS with Dr. Sen and the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives

[Friday, February 23, 2024]

Last week, we shared a quick recap of the exciting events of the week of Valentine’s Day. Today, please enjoy this photo recap of both the February 14th Spirit of Tea and Peacefulness lecture by Dr. Sen, and the February 15th Recognition at the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives. We are also happy to announce that these events were featured on UH News, as well as local news stations KITV and Hawaii News Now.


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Dr. Genshitsu Sen returns for lecture and Jaku’an recognition at Hawaiʻi state legislature

[Friday, February 16, 2024]

The week of Valentine’s Day brought with it an amazing two days with Urasenke Chadō Tradition 15th-Generation Grand Master, Dr. Genshitsu Sen.

Dr. Genshitsu Sen posing with his younger self

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Hatsudate Shiki – First of Year Tea Ceremony at Jaku’an Tea House

[Wednesday, January 31, 2024]

The UHM Center for Japanese Studies was honored to welcome State Representative Andrew Takuya Garrett as a guest for the Hatsudate Shiki (first of the year tea ceremony) at the Jaku’an Tea House on the UH Mānoa campus on Sunday, January 28, 2024.

CJS Director Mark Levin (left) with Hawaiʻi State Representative Andrew Takuya Garrett posing for a picture together before the Hatsudate Shiki

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Lunch at the Jaku’an Tea House

[Friday, January 26, 2024]

The Jaku’an Japanese Tea House in the Seien Japanese Gardens behind the East-West Center, hosted a lunch gathering for Center for Japanese Studies Director Mark Levin, Way of Tea Instructor Akiko Riley, and wonderful guests from the East-West Center on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.


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Tea Ceremony Workshops Offered During Nippon Culture Day 2023

More than 850 attendees came to the Campus Center Ballroom on October 20, 2023 to enjoy the annual Nippon Culture Day, breaking last year’s record of 700! Attendees also had the chance to participate in tea ceremony workshops at the Jaku’an tea house.

Read more at ManoaMirror.org…

‘Way of Tea’ draws students’ interest to Japan exchange (Spring 2023)

For students of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Way of Tea club, the journey to Japan was more than just an opportunity to explore and experience a new place—it was a long awaited reunion with their sister tea club from Doshisha University, located in Kyoto, Japan, the center of tea schools.


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Jaku’an marks its 50th anniversary

[December 6, 2022]

The time-honored structure was erected in 1972, after Genshitsu SEN, a 15th generation grand tea master, commissioned the building of a chashitsu (authentic tea ceremony house) in Hawaiʻi. First constructed in Japan and reassembled in Hawaiʻi, Sen donated the structure to UH in an effort to carry out his life’s mission of fostering peace through the teaching of tea ceremony.

Read more in the UH News about Jaku’an

Article on Tea Ceremony in Hawaiʻi Published in the Web Magazine “Waraku”

[July 2019]

Ms. Akiko Ono, Professor of the Urasenke School and UH Way of Tea practicum instructor, wrote an article on tea ceremony in Hawaiʻi and at the University in the web magazine, “Waraku.” The article is written in Japanese and can be found in two parts, at the links below:



UH News Video on the Renovations and Rededication of the Jaku’an Tea House

[February 18, 2015]

University of Hawaiʻi News video and article on the renovations and rededication of Jaku’an – “Hidden gem restored for future generations