2017 Summer in Japan and Korea: Maeda Shodo, abbot of Zuihoin, Daitokuji Temple

I love meeting with monks;

Some are kind, some are indifferent, some are focused on other things, and some are focused on you.

Years of meditation and practiced insight given certain monks the ability to read people. It is disconcerting to be read so easily by anyone, least a monk ready to correct your dissolution. Visitors are always in danger of being given advice that they may or may not be ready to hear.

A Christian Garden in Japan

Built in 1546 and used as a secret Christian temple, Zuihoin has since reverted into its Buddhist  origins. The gardens retain their original Christian symbolism.

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2017 Summer in Japan and Korea: Meeting with Mr Kanbayashi, the CEO of Kanbayashi-en Matcha Company

6 generations in...

My work with Analytical Flavor Systems has created some amazing opportunities that I would never have expected to be part of – like meeting Mr Kanbayashi, the CEO of the 450 year old Kanbayashi-en Matcha Company.

Introduced by the venerable Koike-sensei, we discussed collaborations and ways to bring matcha for a new generation of drinkers, and then shared tea in their original tea house from the late 1500’s.

Matcha is a traditional drink of the past, a historical product with antecedent rituals and practices, but it is also an ingredient, a flavoring, and a drink itself. The innovation for uses of matcha has never stopped, and the matcha of the future is going to taste great.