02.03.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

Sen Genshitsu of Japan to be named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will appoint Japanese tea master Sen Genshitsu as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in a ceremony at the Organization’s Headquarters on 5 March (6 pm, 7th floor).

Sen Genshitsu is being named “in recognition of his contribution to peace and culture through the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and his dedication to the ideals and goals of the Organization”, according to the diploma he will receive during the ceremony.

Born in Kyoto in 1923, Sen Genshitsu became the 15th Urasenke Grand Master in 1964. Urasenke is one of the leading tea ceremony schools in Japan. The Grand Master inherited the name of Soshitsu, which he passed on to his eldest son in 2002. He then took his present name with the title of Daisosho, signifying his status as the former Grand Master.

In 1991, Sen Genshitsu obtained a doctoral degree from Nankai Univesity in China after completing a thesis on the influence of Lu Yu, the 8th century Chinese “tea sage”, on Japan’s tea culture. Sen also holds a PhD in literature from Chung-Ang University (Republic of Korea). He has been a global advocate of culture and peace, promoting his ideal of “achieving peacefulness through a bowl of tea.”

To promote peace, he has travelled the world lecturing and conducting tea-offering services. He also conducted tea ceremonies and peace prayers at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the occasion of the UN Millennium Assembly in 2000 and again at the UN General Assembly in 2010.

The designation ceremony of Sen Genshitsu will be followed a commemoration of the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake during which Dr Sen will conduct a tea ceremony. The event, entitled “Towards Open Reconstruction,” is organized by the Permanent Delegation of Japan.

As UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Sen Genshitsu joins an outstanding group of celebrity advocates who spread the ideals of UNESCO through their name and fame. They extend and amplify UNESCO's work and mission using their talent and status to help focus the world's attention on the work of the Organization. Through their careers and humanitarian commitment they contribute to UNESCO's fields of competence: education, culture, and science and communication.


Journalists wishing to attend the nomination ceremony should obtain accreditation from

Isabelle Le Fournis: +33(0)1 45 68 17 48 - i.le-fournis(at)unesco.org

Djibril Kebe: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 41 - d.kebe(at)unesco.org

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