'After Class' Podcast

Season 1, Episode 4

Enter the Clearing the Mind Abodea Taste of Tea with Janet Ikeda

The professor of Japanese sheds light on the importance of Japanese tea culture and how this peaceful yet precise process can prepare students (and just about anyone) for the next step in their lives. A fresh cup of tea is suggested to accompany this podcast!
Recorded July 2, 2020
Airs August 4, 2020

“Translation is always a work in progress, and that’s a lesson in life, I think. Constant change, nothing is set in stone. And I realize that students are looking for the permanent…. The best thing I’m trying to convey in my classes by talking about translation or reading a work of literature set in a different time or place, is how to deal with change, interpretation and uncertainty and to see the beauty in all of it.”

Janet Ikeda
Associate Professor of Japanese

A Second Serving


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Office of Lifelong Learning
Washington and Lee University
204 W Washington Street
Lexington, Virginia 24450

The Way of Tea at W&L

The Senshin'an Tea Room serves as a classroom laboratory for the study of Chanoyu.
  • Photo of Janet's high school French teacher, who started a Japanese language program, in her office along with the book she gave her - The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon.

  • Podcast host Ruth Candler at a tea ceremony in the Senshin'an Tea Room.

  • Janet (foreground), Ruth (middle), and podcast technical producer Jim Goodwin in the Tea Room to record the episode.

  • Tea container with poem by 16th-century tea master, Rikyu: When you enter the Way, you are your own best teacher.

  • Japanese scroll reading “sessa takuma,” which means cutting, chipping, grinding, and polishing. Rose of Sharon in vase by Phil Rogers (donated by Hal and Barbra Higginbotham).

  • Tea container and lid rest with bamboo design; we talked about the concept of “sunao” – to be resilient, able to bend but not snap in two.
  • Our podcast was recorded in June, so Janet set out summer tea bowls.

The learning doesn’t end when the class bell rings.

After Class
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