First-ever Japanese tea ceremony performed at USS Arizona Memorial

PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - A historic Japanese Tea ceremony of peace and harmony was performed for the first time on the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor Tuesday morning.

About 150 dignitaries and Pearl Harbor survivors gathered at the sacred site to observe 15th generation Grand Teamaster, Dr. Genshitsu Sen of the Urasenke School of Tea, who served in the Imperial Navy, perform the ceremony to honor those who died in the Japanese attack nearly 70 years ago.

The tea ceremony initiative was led by former First Lady of Hawaii, Jean Ariyoshi who served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the hour long service that included the 20 minute ancient Buddhist-Zen tea ritual in the spirit of reconciliation and peace.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie made remarks as well as the Consul General of Japan, Yoshihiko Kamo and Admiral Patrick Walsh, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Pacific West Regional Director, Christine Lehnertz of the National Park Service attended along with three former Hawaii Governors: George Ariyoshi, John Waihee and Ben Cayetano. Three Pearl Harbor survivors also observed the event, Ray Emory, Sterling Cale and Alfred Rodrigues.

Two bowls of tea were prepared by Dr. Sen. The first paid tribute to those who died at Pearl Harbor, the second was presented for world peace.

The traditional ceremony is considered one of the highest honors in Japanese culture and was offered during the solemn ceremony as a continuing gesture of peace and healing between the U.S. and Japan.

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