Zen Nihon Senchado Renmei (National Japanese Sencha Association) (全日本煎茶道連盟)
Zen Nihon Senchado Renmei (National Japanese Sencha Association) is an incorporated association founded for the promotion and development of Sencha-do (the way of sencha). However, not all schools of Sencha-do in Japan belong to it.
Location of the head office: Manpuku-ji temple on Mt. Obaku, in Uji city, Kyoto prefecture
Number of member schools: 39 schools (as of in 2008)
Before the founding
The way of Senchado pushed the tea ceremony forward almost overwhelming from the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate through the beginning of the Meiji period, but after that Senchado lost its popularity rapidly.
(For the details of how this happened, see "Senchado".)
Under such circumstances, the organization "Koyukai" was founded to promote sencha by lovers of sencha and the heads of Senchado schools who felt a sense of impending crisis in the last year of the Taisho period (1925).
(The organization was named after Ko Yugai, who was envied among Senchado lovers.)
In the autumn of 1928, 'Baisado' for publicly honoring Baisao and the Senchado tea house 'Yuseiken' were built in the precincts of the Manpuku-ji temple. Since then, Koyukai's tea parties and meetings have been held with Manpuku-ji temple at the center, aiming for a renaissance of Senchado. However, meetings were discontinued due to the outbreak of the Pacific war, and Koyukai died a natural death.
In 1954, a Senchado tea party supported by various schools was held in the Daihoe (great Buddhist memorial service) in Manpuku-ji temple, which became the catalyst for increasing momentum toward the need of an organization uniting Senchado again, and in January 1956, popular schools all over the country gathered and founded the federation.
Activities during the initial period
In the autumn of 1962, the federation held a Hyakuseki chakai (a tea party with 100 seats) at Manpuku-ji temple on the two-hundredth anniversary of Baisao's death. The federation has also held a study meeting and a national conference every year since the founding without missing a single year, and devoted itself to Senchado promotion. At that time, all of the Senchado schools were said to have participated in the activities.
After becoming an incorporated association
Recognized for its past performance, the federation, which was a voluntary organization, was re-established as an incorporated association in 1966. However, there suddenly occurred a conflict among the schools over the policy then, and that made some popular schools such as the Ogawa school, the Kagetsuan school, etc., withdraw from the association.
The association held an exhibition of Senchado culture and calligraphy left by departed Obaku monks in 1967, participated in the Japan World Exposition in 1970, and held a tea ceremony in Hawaii for five years consecutively from 1973 to 1977.
In 1975, the association held a festival for the three-hundredth anniversary of Baisao's birth, and appealed to nonmember schools to take part in it at the time, but only two or three nonmember schools responded and they did not join the association.
In 1985, the Senchado assembly hall, where its office is now located, was built to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the association's being founded.
In 1986, the association cooperated with the establishment of Nihon Sencha Kogyo Kyokai (Japan Sencha Arts and Crafts Association), and also is trying to aid craftsmen who make utensils used in Senchado.