Last August, a film crew from a site called Tokyo Pop came to Shofuso to do some filming for a show they were doing called America’s Greatest Otaku. I had never heard of the site before, but I was assured that this was just because I’m very old. They were in Philadelphia looking for Japanese-themed places and events, and their search led them to Shofuso. They did some filming and interviews with the site manager at the time, with a local taiko drumming group called Kyo Daiko, and with us, your faithful tea people.
The filming was fun – they had two young people in the tearoom with us; I made the tea, and one of our students, Mary Lynn, acted as first guest and coached them on how to drink. (She did a great job and actually did quite a bit of talking, although they ended up not using much of her in the final cut.) After the temae was finished, they did a short interview with me about tea ceremony in general.
I thought that the whole thing turned out very nicely, including the tour of Shofuso and the bit on the taiko group. I always cringe when I see myself on film, but they managed to make even me look good. If you’d like to see for yourself, it’s just been posted online:
The Philadelphia portion starts at around 3 minutes and 15 sections into the clip.