I am working to communicate Japan, Japanese identity, values, and religiosity through the Japanese tea ceremony.
I teach mainly in Japanese and English, but from different perspectives for Japanese and non-Japanese people.
The reason for this is that I believe that people who have grown up in Japanese culture and those who have not have a different way of feeling and perceiving things.
In many cases, when I tell about the Japanese tea ceremony to Japanese people, I get a lot of “re-feelings” and “empathy.
However, when communicating about the Japanese tea ceremony to non-Japanese, there is more “new discovery” and “freshness.
Therefore, we change the way we communicate things such as specific examples and word choice to make it easier to convey.
Of course, sometimes non-Japanese people “sympathize” with us, but I think that is mostly because of the religious nature of our nature as human beings.
For example, the tea ceremony is a culture that uses the content of tea to express Zen spirituality. In this context, “mutual respect” is important.