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Demonstrations & Performances

Cultural Demonstration: Tea Ceremony, Ueda Soko School

Yoshitsugu Nagano presents an Ueda Sōko-ryū tea ceremony.

Portland Japanese Garden will offer a free public demonstration of Chadō (Chanoyu), the Way of Tea, at the Cathy Rudd Cultural Corner in the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center at 1:15pm and 2:15pm.

The Way of Tea is intrinsically linked to Japanese gardens and understanding the kokoro (heart) of Japanese gardening.


Visiting tea master, Yoshitsugu Nagano, will present Ueda Sōko-ryū, a traditional samurai tea ceremony practiced in Japan for over 400 years. In 2018, he became the youngest person to obtain the highest rank in Ueda Sōko-ryū and was awarded the title of Professor. This prompted Nagano to make the decision to become an independent tea practitioner and to share The Way of Tea with the world.  In 2019, he relocated to New York City, where he promotes the spirituality and the aesthetics of chanoyu through hosting tea rituals for audiences, presenting workshops, and teaching his students. He established his own unique style of tea by incorporating new means of expression into a tradition deeply rooted in Zen.

In 2020, Portland Japanese Garden, together with the Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, hosted a special tea ceremony called “Tea For Peace,” on September 21, UN’s International Day of Peace to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The tea ceremony held in Hiroshima was hosted by Mr. Ueda Sokei, 16th Generation Grandmaster of the Ueda Sōko Tradition of Japanese Tea Ceremony. Professor Yoshitugu Nagano was instrumental in organizing this special tea ceremony in Hiroshima. As an organization founded to heal the wounds of World War II, with the mission of Inspiring Harmony and Peace, it was a monumental occasion for Portland Japanese Garden to renew our commitment to peace through a cup of tea.

About Tea Ceremony

The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is a particular manner of preparing and drinking a bowl of tea. More than just making and serving tea, this tradition is based in formality and in many ways is a microcosm of the Japanese sense of omotenashi, which translates as wholehearted hospitality. It is a type of practice comprising of choreographed movements which serve as a foundation where both the host and the guest can escape from the fast pace of everyday life and involve all their senses and experience a serene feeling of calm.

Portland Japanese Garden receives support from the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the State of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Yoshitsugu Nagano’s presentation is also supported by:


Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center

The Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center was designed to be the cultural, educational, and architectural hub of the new Cultural Village. “With a new classroom, library, and performance space, the Learning Center provides an open and welcoming space where visitors can learn more about the culture that gave us the Japanese garden art form,”