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Japanese Tea Ceremony Demonstrates a Culture of Peace

Washington, D.C., USA – For almost a thousand years, the Japanese people have practiced the “way of tea,” a highly refined ceremony in which the host serves tea to guests in a purposefully calm and mindful manner. For several years, UPF-USA has been offering a traditional Japanese tea ceremony to UPF friends and Ambassadors for Peace as a means of demonstrating a “culture of peace.”  

On December 9, 2023, such a tea ceremony was held in the Founders’ Room at the Washington Times building, as part of an International Association for Peace and Development program. The program was conducted by Mrs. Tomiko Duggan, senior vice president of UPF-USA.

During the program, two new Ambassadors for Peace – Ambassador of Chad to the United States, H.E. Kitoko Vera Ngoulou, and freelance journalist Ms. Gedalia Vera – were appointed. Ambassador of Gabon, H.E. Noel Nelson Messone, also attended the ceremony.

The way of tea reflects a Zen quality of spirituality. Through its emphasis on beautiful manners and the etiquette of serving others, the ceremony elevates those who partake of it, and inspires them to rise to the highest state of internal character. The way of tea leads to respect for others, living in harmony and peace, and obtaining and maintaining tranquility of heart in daily life.

In the ceremony, the tea master makes a series of hand movements while preparing and serving the tea, symbolizing the heart's purification. The master then serves a bowl of tea to each guest with an attitude of respect and sincerity. By tradition, the master treats each guest as if this is a “once-in-a-lifetime encounter.”

Adding color to the event, Mrs. Duggan and the tea master, Mrs. Yuriko Arikawa, dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos. Light Japanese snacks were provided after the program, as guests had an opportunity to socialize and get to know one another.

The Washington Times Founders Room offers a distinctive and suitably tranquil setting. The Founders of The Washington Times newspaper, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, often greeted their guests in this room to share their vision for world peace and the mission of the Washington Times.


By Tomiko Duggan, Senior Vice President, UPF-USA
December 8, 2023


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