Dear Members of the Midorikai Alumni Association and Midorikai students,
First of all, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of you who worked so hard planning and implementing the memorable Midorikai 40th Anniversary Commemorative Events and Reunion in Hawaii this summer. Also, I would like to say thank you to all who gathered in Hawaii, and all of those who--although unable to attend the events personally--sent congratulatory letters to Hounsai Daisosho.
Forty years adds up to many months and years; but for me, it has been a continuum of months and years extending up to the present. The faces of the Midorikai students have remained in my heart and have helped me recall the months and years clearly as if they were yesterday. At the commemorative events, I was able to see again former students who have become prominent and talented people working in their various fields and communities. This made me realize that everyone had gone on to live his or her own life, and that during these forty years, a generation had passed. I was very happy to see that everyone, including people who had been out of touch with Urasenke and perhaps the Way of Tea, had led full and happy lives.
Hounsai Daisosho was very happy that many people were able to gather in Hawaii, and during the commemorative banquet, he said that the Midorikai students are his treasures. What a wonderful thing to say! I have seen many Midorikai students go on to become knowledgeable Chado teachers themselves, and have seen them verily conveying the spirit of Chado and passing the reigns to the next generation. This is for me an unparalleled joy.
I hope that reunions, such as this one commemorating the 40th anniversary, will continue to be held in ten, twenty, thirty years, and further into the future. Let us strive to share Daisosho's continuing feelings for Midorikai and its success, and to contribute to his great endeavors to expand Japan's traditional Tea culture into a world-wide cultural activity. Through these activities, we are all playing an important role in the long history of Chanoyu.
Again, I would like to express my great appreciation for your invitation to the 40th Anniversary Commemorative Events. Please stay healthy and full of energy; I, too, will be mindful of my body and strive to live a long life devoted to tea, with the hopes of being able to meet you all again in the future.