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JUNE ASJ lecture meeting

Date: Monday, 15 June 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Speaker: Mr. Akira Matsura, the 41st head of the Matsura family of Hirado
Title: “The History of the Matsura Feudal Lord Family, as told by Mr. Akira Matsura”
Venue: Josai University (城西大学), Kioi-cho Campus, 1st building, Room 301
Address: 3-26 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Access: Map.
Nearest train station: Kojimachi (Exit 1).

Mr. Matsura was born in Tokyo. He attended Rikkyo University, and upon graduation in 1964, entered California State University at Fresno, graduating in 1967 with a BA in journalism. He found employment at the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), staying with it for 20 years. Upon the deaths of his parents, he resigned from NHK and began fulfilling his family obligations, namely, managing the Matsura Historical Museum in Hirado and keeping up his family tradition of performing the tea ceremony. Mr. Matsura’s present status is Chairman of the Matsura Historical Museum and head of the Chinshin school of tea ceremony.

Mr. Akira Matsura is the 41st head of the Matsura family based in Hirado, Kyushu, now part of Nagasaki Prefecture. He can trace his family origin to the year 822 when the founder of his family was born. His talk will cover numerous historical events his family experienced as feudal lords. These events include Genghis Khan’s unsuccessful invasion of Japan, the war between Genji and Heike, Hideyoshi’s attempt to invade Korea, and the battle of Sekigahara which resulted in the formation of the Tokugawa shogunate. During the relatively stable Edo period, Hirado was the only seaport kept open for European traders and was also a gateway to Japan for the Christian religion. Hirado prospered through its trade with Europe until the Dutch trading post was moved to Deshima, in Nagasaki. Mr. Matsura’s talk will cover various topics related to the European presence in Hirado.

Hirado was also the place where Zen Buddhism was initially introduced from China, along with the seeds of good-quality tea plants. Mr. Matsura would like to give weight in his talk to the tea ceremony which runs in his family, the so-called “samurai-style” tea ceremony, what it meant to the samurai, and what it can mean to the people of today.

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Forthcoming ASJ Meeting

Date: Monday, 28 September 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Speaker: Ms. Makiko & Mr. Ryushi Komada
Title: “The little known world of craftsmen of ivory okimono (statuettes) and netsuke from the 19th to the 20th centuries”
Venue: Shibuya Kyoiku Gakuen (SKG)
Address: 1-21-18 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002
Access: About a 15-minute stroll from Shibuya station’s Hachiko exit. Map.