Ritsumeikan Exchange: Tea Ceremony
I was lucky enough to partake in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony called "Chanoyu". For this, formal attire was required so my host parents wore their Kimonos and I wore my school uniform. The tea ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the 12th century and is a key aspect of traditional Japanese culture. Partaking in the ceremony was difficult. Over many centuries the tea ceremony has adopted several difficult rituals you must follow when drinking. Nevertheless, I am very grateful for the opportunity to experience this vital aspect of Japanese culture.
That evening I moved in with my second host family. I was sad to say goodbye to my first family. They had been so kind and generous and I am forever grateful. However, the second family marked a new chapter in the exchange, the start of school life at Ritsumeikan Uji. Tom and I started our schooling experience rather instantaneously with a Japanese introduction at the school assembly. Despite the daunting nature of the task, we introduced ourselves well and started our school day. After school each day at Ritsumeikan Uji, students must attend a "club" for two hours. Tom and I joined the rugby club and we have made more friends than we ever could have imagined in the first two days.
By Rory Sutherland