Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji(ごちそう茶事) Review

Have you ever watched something that gives you a different perspective and leaves a question to think?

I joined the Japanese tea documentary, gochisochaji(ごちそう茶事), screening hosted by the Global Japanese Tea Association on Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 8-10 pm in Japan time. 

The event included watching the documentary and talking with the producer, Makoto Takatsu. It was a virtual event, so I could join from Melbourne, Australia, an hour ahead of Japan time. 

How I felt about the event: communal, connected, informative, interesting, relaxing. 

How I felt about the documentary: communal, informative, diverse, not too boring, dedicated, provides a new perspective & outlook. 

 

Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事

Film Title: ごちそう茶事 Gochisochaji 
Producer: Makoto Takatsu
Editing Director: Go Okada
Music: Hitomi Tamura
Theme Song: Kojiro Fujiwara “To the Other Side”
Title: Genu Shiraishi
Production: Japanese Tea Documentary Film Production Team
Distributor in Japan: office.gochisouchaji
JAPAN / 2021 / 52min / Japanese (with English subtitles)
Website: https://gochisochaji.com/

Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (13)

Before screening, I prepared Japanese sencha and Tonkatsu (a Japanese dish that consists of a breaded, deep-fried/tempura pork cutlet.). I brewed Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha that I received as a gift from Yunomi. I ordered Tonkatsu from DonDon. 

What I enjoyed the most

1. Diverse Topics 

I enjoyed watching gochisouchaji because it provided short sequences of topics while covering a variety of topics.  I find some documentaries too boring or too serious to follow. Gochisouchaji was easy to follow. 

Topics: 

  • The people devoted their lives to Japanese tea 
  • Scent of freshly picked tea leaves  
  • What separates a master from an amateur?
  • Shitori(Moist)
  • Gogumi (Blending) techniques
  • Japanese tea and tea drinking culture have evolved through the ages.
  • However, Japanese tea today faces many challenges. 
  • Profound changes in lifestyle. 
  • A new gateway to Japanese tea
  • Uji, Kyoto prefacture 
  • Tradition of the Uji Region
  • Japanese tea with new character 
  • Makurajaki, Kagoshima prefacture 
  • Breeder 
  • Sofu
  • The cultivar loved by modern teaists Sofu
  • Reassessing the withering technique 
  • Withered aroma of yumewakaba 
  • Gokase, Miyajaki Prefecture
  • The times and Kamairicha
  • Traditional yet new tea attracting young people 
  • Attracting young people 
  • Successors of Japanese tea 
  • Rediscovery of Japanese tea
  • And More 
Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事

2. Diverse People 

I enjoyed watching the interviews from people related to Japanese tea industry. For me it was especially interesting to know what tea breeder does. Check out the documentary if you are curious 😀 

  • Oscar Brekell, Japanese Tea Evangelist 
  • OTA Katsunori, Tea Grower, Kaneta Otaen 
  • Moriuchi Yoshio, Tea Grower, Moriuchi Tea Farm 
  • Nakajima Tsuyoshi, Onishi-en Tea Factory, 10th Dan in Hand Rolled Tea 
  • Maeda Fumio, Yamahachi Maeda Lotaro Shoten Tea Master, 10th Dan in tea appraisal
  • Tada Masanori, Tea Master, Tada Tea Products 
  • Sakurai Shinya, Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience 
  • Koyama Kazuhiro, Charista, Saten Japanese Tea 
  • Fujioka Hibiki, Barista 
  • Tsuji Kiyohara, Tea Grower, Tsujiki
  • Nesumi Atsushi, Senior Coordinator Makurazaki Tea Research Station (NARO)
  • Watata Yoshi, Tea Sommelier, Omotesanto Chachanoma 
  • Florent Weugue, Aozuruchago (Thes-du-Japon)
  • Shimizu Keiichiro, Tea Master,  Sayamacha Specialty Shop Bizenya 
  • Miyajaki Akira, Tea Grower, Miyajaki Sabo 
  • Yokoyama Yoko, Tea Grower, Miyajaki Sabo 
  • Okajami Megumi, The Tea Company 
  • Tajima Nobuyoshi, The Tea Company 
  • Ishida Shinji, Restaurant Owner, Nogizaka Shin
  • Obata Kazuki, Urushi & Tea Lover
  • And more 
 
 
Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (7)

3. A New Perspective and Outlook 

With diverse topic and people, it naturally gave me a new perspective and outlook.

" You need to be able to talk with the tea. Tea is a living thing in a sense. I think tea is always sending us signs, telling us what to do next. The question is whether you can keep pace with the changes. Do tea leaves obey your orders? Do leaves line up and get ready to be rolled when they are told to do so? As an old saying goes, the appearance of the leaves mirrors their internal qualities. I think a beautiful looking tea is beautiful on the inside as well."

Nakajima Tsuyoshi, Onishi-en Tea Factory, 10th Dan in Hand Rolled Tea
Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (12)

4. Tea Brewing Techniques 

The documentary also showed how tea professionals use own style to brew and taste tea. I enjoyed watching different styles of brewing.  

" The most important parts about brewing tea are the flavour, maintaining the quality that the growers produced, and being considerate to the person you're serving. I think that a cup of tea can for a heart-to-heart connection. Brewing tea with consideration is what matters most."

Sakurai Shinya, Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience
Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (11)

5. Tea Dedication

While watching the documentary, I could see how the tea industry is supported by people with dedication and caring. 

During the chatting with the producer time, Takatsu-san mentioned that he was able to complete the 3 years of production by the support and dedicated people in the tea industry. 

It reminded me how to appreciate and cherish tea leaves. I had a good self-reflection time during the event and while writing this review. 

Global Japanese Tea Association

Thank you Global Japanese Association (https://gjtea.org/)  for hosting a fun and informative event.  

If you missed the screening, you can rent or buy the gochisochaji at Vimeo now.  

Have you already seen this documentary? Let me know how you enjoyed it 😀

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