The JHU Buddhist Student Association invites you to join us for a rarely held, and very special, Japanese Incense Ceremony from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, in the JHU Interfaith Center (second floor). It will last about 90 minutes. About 20 spaces are available for participants, so if you wish to participate, we need a firm commitment and your RSVP. Observers are also welcome; please let us know if you wish to do that instead. Anyone is welcome to attend if they can commit to it.
The "Way of Incense," or Kou-dou (香道), is one of the traditional "ways" of Japanese artistic culture; others include tea ceremony (cha-dou) and flower arrangement (ka-dou). In the "game" of the ceremony, participants take turns appreciating and trying to identify a few different kinds of precious incense; the "winner" receives a poem written in calligraphy on the spot to commemorate the occasion.
To learn more, see this YouTube video.
Ms. Fusako Imaizumi, a teacher in the Shino-ryu Koudou school (志野流香道), will lead the ceremony, accompanied by five assistants in special kimono, as well as by the Rinzai Zen Master Gentoku Kobayashi Roshi, abbot of Shokokuji Training Monastery in Kyoto, Japan. Unlike the tea-ceremony and flower-arranging arts, kou-dou did not become part of "popular" culture in modern Japan, mainly because of the rarity and expense of the incense. So this is a very special opportunity!
The event is co-sponsored by the BSA and the Heart of Zen Meditation Group at Loyola University Maryland. The Zen group is led by Prof. Kanpu Bret Davis in Loyola's Department of Philosophy.
Please note that this event accepts voluntary donations to the guest teachers.
Please share this with anyone who you think might be interested!