Tsuruko’s Tea Journey

Jean Oshima
2 min readApr 4, 2018
Tsuruko at Sea of Japan

“Think of being a single flower, and live like that.”

The time I spent watching this NHK documentary is the best 50 minutes of entertainment I’ve experienced in a long time. Leave it to NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai, official English name: Japan Broadcasting Corporation) to produce such a beautiful visual, heart-warming masterpiece.

Tsuruko Hanzawa takes us along with her on a very special 2-year pilgrimage. There are many layers to the experience of this documentary. Tsuruko is just one of them. I fell in love with this sweet, strong, human being.

When you have an hour to just sit and completely enjoy this video, please do. And if you don’t have the time, do it anyway. If you can watch it on a bigger screen than a computer I highly suggest you do.

I have been fascinated with the Japanese tea ceremony since I had the privilege of participating in this unique centuries-old experience. You’d think that sitting for 4 to 7 hours would bring moments of boredom or distraction at the least. But as is mentioned a few times in the film, time just flies by when you are witnessing the incredibly unique ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. To say that this practice is not just about the tea would be the biggest understatement.

Tsuruko Hanzawa

Here you go. See for yourself:



Jean Oshima

See my blog, 5 Heart Rating at http://jeanoshima.com I am a Wellness & Wine and Special Events Producer