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NHK – Tsuruko’s Tea Journey (2016)

NHK Tsurukos Tea Journey

In one form of the Japanese tea ceremony, the host serves traditional kaiseki cuisine, sake and finally tea to the guests. The ritual, established as an art form more than 4 centuries ago, is believed to be the foundation of Japan’s omotenashi hospitality. One woman has decided to embark on a unique nationwide pilgrimage to immerse herself in the art. Tsuruko Hanzawa is a rare “catering chef” of tea ceremonies. At 70, she loaded her pots, pans and tools for making tea onto a van and set off in her kimono, serving food using local ingredients and tea to the people she met along the way. Exploring a life devoted to tea, this documentary follows Tsuruko for 2 years as she battles illness to continue her pilgrimage.

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