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Sony unit puts virtual twist on teaching traditional tea ceremony

New tea room eyes 'evolutionary future' for Japanese cultural touchstone

Reijiro Izumi, left, president of the tea-ceremony-focused Sabie Cultural Institute, sits in the Jakuin tea room in Kyoto. (Photo by Keiichi Furukawa)

KYOTO -- A unit of Sony Group is applying cutting-edge digital technology to help pass down Japan's centuries-old tea ceremony tradition.

This exercise in integrating the old and the new centers on Jakuin, a tea room at Sony Computer Science Laboratories' research center in the heart of Kyoto that the company says was created "with a view to an evolutionary future for chanoyu [tea ceremony] culture." Sony CSL is partnering with the Sabie Cultural Institute, which is affiliated with the popular Urasenke school of tea ceremony.

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