Today is the day to the first review. But before it was arranged for interested students (due to my inquiry!) to participate in both a Japanese Tea Ceremony (sadō) as well as a lesson in Ikebana. The for the tea ceremony we were introduced to the history of the practices and how to partake sitting properly in the Seiza position. After a while it felt like an endurance contest sitting this way as our legs all went numb, and a few starting to shake and breaking a sweat. The elderly woman walking us through had no problems of course. Also shown the various tools such as the bamboo whisk (chosen) and the tea bowl (chawan) which is presented to you for you to receive, and then how to hold or drinking from. They then let us try whisking the matcha tea
After a short break (as we could barely stand our legs were so numb from the tea ceremony) we continued into a lesson on ikebana - Japanese flower arrangements, which privileges minimal composition. We were shown various techniques as they pertain to different vessels, on which had a series of slots for plants to stick into, compared to a tall vase in which you sort of "throw-in" (nageire) the flowers into the vessels so that they sit more naturally. Also learnt about the location in which ikebana is typically places, a small alcove in the room (tokonoma) which will pertain to our project.
In the afternoon all the teams presented their ideas and any current prototypes. It seems our group is fairing well as we have some thoughts along a specific idea and are being tested out. Other groups are still trying to determine a direction for their project.