About Us

The Association currently comprises approximately 270 members, consisting of Urasenke tea ceremony practitioners and enthusiasts in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area who uphold the ideals, culture and activities of Japanese tea ceremony. Our members strive to deepen their understanding and study of chado, to improve themselves and to introduce “the way of tea” to a wider audience to promote friendship and cultural exchange.

Chado Urasenke Tankokai San Francisco Association is registered with the State of California as a nonprofit organization.

Chado Urasenke Tankokai San Francisco Association members at Urasenke Konnichian, Kyoto, Japan, November 2019.

Association History

Chado Urasenke Tankokai San Francisco Association was established by John Ritchie following the conclusion of U.S.‐Japan Security Treaty in 1951. In 1960, the young Grand Tea Master Hounsai Daisosho and his wife, Tomiko, visited San Francisco and made a tea ceremony presentation for the first time at the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park. After that, the couple visited San Francisco often. 

In 2001, the Urasenke San Francisco Association was granted the name of Chado Urasenke Tankokai San Francisco Association by Urasenke headquarters in Kyoto, and added to the growing list of tankokai associations worldwide.

Past and current presidents:

• 1st president: John Ritchie
• 2nd president: Seiji Kobara
• 3rd president: Hisao Hiro
• 4th & current president: George Hara

“Tradition, Form and Gratitude”