I am happy to introduce Erika Bongen to the readers of this blog. Erika is a junior majoring in biology, but also taking classes in Japanese language. She's from Batavia in the western suburbs of Chicago. Her interest in Japan began when she took Japanese in high school. As a freshman here she took Kimiko Gunji-sensei's class about Tea Ceremony, Zen, and traditional Japanese arts. That class led to a two week trip to Japan with Gunji-sensei. Now, Erika is not only a member of the Japan House Tea Ceremony Study Group and learning the how to perform Tea Ceremony, she is also volunteering at Japan House, leading tours before tea ceremonies and helping in many ways. She will occasionally be posting on this blog with her thoughts and experiences at Japan House. Welcome Erika!
Below, after introducing a group to the tea ceremony and Japan House, Erika waits in a chair as Sumie Burten conducts a tea ceremony for staff members of the Native American House.