Welcome to the Urasenke Tankokai San Diego Association website! San Diego is nestled in the southernmost portion in the state of California, bordering the city of Tijuana, Mexico.

Here, the weather is mild all year round. The landscape of San Diego allows for a variety of activities since the county faces the Pacific Ocean in the west, Anza-Borrego desert in the east, Palomar mountains in the north, and Mexico in the south.

Back in the 1960s, SeaWorld San Diego opened to accommodate a large marine mammal park including killer whales. Today, SeaWorld San Diego is a world-famous marine park and tourist attraction with thousands of visitors exploring the facility. However, in the 1960s, it was operated in collaboration with Murata Pearls, a Japanese pearl company. Murata Pearls invested to include top-notch Japanese gardens at the park, with a replica of the famous Kinkakuji Gold Pavilion in Kyoto, complete with a Shoin-style tea room on the second floor. To further share the Japanese culture with the San Diego community, Murata Pearls invited someone to demonstrate Chado, the Way of Tea, in the tea room of the Gold Pavilion.

The beautiful replica of the famous Kinkakuji Gold Pavilion in Kyoto, in SeaWorld San Diego that opened in 1964.
1964年に開園したシーワールドサンディエゴに建てられた京都・鹿苑寺の 舎利殿「金閣」を模したゴールドパビリオン

A young tea practitioner named Soshin Nakano, a student and assistant to Mme. Yaeko Shiotsuki, who is the sister of Daisosho Hounsai Sen, was chosen for this assignment. Soshin Nakano stayed in San Diego for two years to demonstrate tea at SeaWorld and met many audiences, including Walt Disney who was a consultant for the management of SeaWorld.

Mrs. Tomiko Sen demonstrating Japanese Tea in the 1960s, within the inner garden of the Kinkakuji Gold Pavilion replica located in SeaWorld San Diego.
千登美子様、シーワールドサンディエゴのゴールドパビリオン内の庭園にて 1960年代

In the mid-1970s, Soshin Nakano returned to San Diego as Soshin Saito, and continued to teach Chado to the San Diego community. Hounsai Daisosho, then Grand Master Soshitsu Sen XV, proposed that she open a chapter in San Diego. And that was the beginning of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai San Diego Association.

The tea room inside the SeaWorld gold pavilion in the 60s. Saito Soshin sensei is in the middle, with local students on the left, and visitors from SeaWorld Japan on the right.

Currently in 2020, the San Diego Association is 41 years old, and includes many students, from young to old with diverse ethnic backgrounds, actively practicing Chado, The Way of Tea.

-Milton Saito, President of Urasenke Tankokai San Diego Association







斎藤ミルトンー裏千家淡交会サンディエゴ協会 会長