Tokyo Reimei Kyokai

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Visiting the ancient Buddhist carvings at Longmen Grottoes in China

Enjoying tea

Beauty, Art, and Spiritual Growth

Mokichi Okada taught us how beauty enriches the spirit. Exposure to beautiful art works can move the soul, thereby building character and refining our humanity. To encounter the work of a gifted painter, musician, writer, sculptor, or other artist, whose soul is lofty and whose ability reflects purity of spirit, is to experience power that ennobles the spirit. The ultimate effect of that contact, Meishu-sama said, appears in peaceful family life and safe, wholesome societies.

Scene from the Tale of Genji by Tawaraya Sotatsu

Art Appreciation

That teaching inspired Tokyo Reimei to start an art collection, particularly of works by 17th-century Japanese artists, including Ogata Korin and the Rinpa school. From time to time members get together to view those works and learn more about them such as an art exhibition after the service. We also visit the temples, shrines, and museums of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara, and we regularly invite lecturers to teach about different areas of the arts. Groups from Tokyo Reimei have made art and museum tours to a number of other countries, as well.

Tea and Haiku

Other activities include monthly classes in haiku, tea ceremony, and English conversation. Meishu-sama encouraged his followers to study tea ceremony, for it teaches one about caring for the needs of others and about courtest and etiquette. Seeing and holding the beautiful vessels of tea help build fine character. The Nakano Johrei Center has a tea room where tea ceremony is held on a regular basis. Masters of tea frequently visit the several study groups to teach the members the basics of the tea ceremony Many members compose haiku under the direction of a haiku instructor. Some of their verses are selected for publication in our periodical magazine. Meishu-sama emphasized the importance of observing nature carefully and developing the ability to see signs of the ultimate truth in natural phenomena


Standing in Horyuji temple's Kodo hall (Nara), members sketch the pagoda.

Chorus rehearsal

Music

Besides haiku and tea, members can join the four-part chorus, which is directed by a professional and rehearses regularly. Once a year they perform one of the great choral works, such as those by Handel or Beethoven. We often have a concert after the monthly service at Izunome Hall, either classical music or band tunes performed by the many musicians among our members.