Shoseian, built in 1974 through combined efforts of the Sister Cities of Glendale and Higashi-Osaka, Japan is one of the few traditional Japanese Teahouses open to the public in the United States. Spearheaded by Mrs. Otto Neufeld, local Glendale educator and prominent citizen, the Teahouse represents the spirit of goodwill, lasting peace and friendship between the people of Japan and the United States. Given the name “Shoseian” or “Whispering Pine Teahouse” by the Fifteenth Grand Tea Master of the Urasenke School of Tea in Japan, the Teahouse is designated an official Tearoom. Dr.Yamazaki of Higashi-Osaka provided initial support for the Teahouse and Gardens. The Teahouse design is by architect Hayahiko Takase. A unique blending of western and eastern design, the Teahouse is an apt expression of the spirit of cross-cultural community.
Although the structure has remained open to the public, over the years the core focus of friendship and cultural exchange has waned. With the founding of Friends of Shoseian in 2001, this spirit is rekindled. Through recent cooperative efforts by the City of Glendale and Friends of Shoseian, the Teahouse is refurbished and established as a Landmark Building by the Glendale Historical Society. Nestled at the foot of the Verdugo Mountains beside a koi pond in a charming Japanese-style garden setting, the Teahouse is in a unique position to outreach to the community of Glendale and greater Los Angeles. Today, once again, the community can enjoy this cultural treasure and let the “Whispering Pines” speak to us of friendship and goodwill.
Friends of Shoseian were founded to maintain and preserve the beauty and serenity of Shoseian and the Friendship Garden for future generations to enjoy. Our mission is to promote the Teahouse and Garden through various events and classes connected to Asian arts and culture. We are also currently raising funds to renovate the Tearoom. Send us an email to find out how to become a member and support the Shoseian Teahouse! 1
1 The Shoseian Teahouse web page. Retrieved from http://http://shoseianteahouse.com on November 3, 2015, 8:10 pm CST.
YouTube Video’s of Tea Ceremony photos and Budo demonstration at Shoseian Tea House: