Rotary Norden nr. 2, 2023

I will never forget the gift of meeting tea master Genshitsu Sen during my trip to Japan in November, says Jennifer Jones RI president.

Not only is Sen the former grand master of the Urasenke tea tradition, but he is also an accomplished Rotarian. Those accomplishments include helping charter the Rotary Club of Kyoto-South, Japan, serving as president of the Rotary Club of Kyoto and governor of District 2650, and holding leadership roles in Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. It was an honor to spend time with him. He is a remarkable human being and a joyful soul. And his leadership and engagement in Rotary remain strong.

Genshitsu Sen

During that same week in Japan, I had the opportunity to record a video for a 100-year-old World War II naval hero
and two-time Rotary district governor
from Park City, Utah.

Sen and the Rotarian from Park City shared similar stories, though they served on opposing sides of the war. What was remarkable to me was that each of them chose Rotary to live lives of peacemaking. It struck me that we are all on this planet simply trying to do our best, and we are much more similar than we are different.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to witness these stories and meet such incredible people.

President, Rotary International

Top: Genshitsu Sen, former grand master of the Urasenke tea tradition, performs a traditional Japanese tea ceremony for Jones during her trip to Japan in November. The tea ceremony, known as chadō, dates back centuries and embraces the arts, religion, philosophy, and social life.

Above: Sen stands outside the Urasenke tearoom compound where he lives in Kyoto. Rotary magazine wrote about Sen’s remarkable story in the August 2022 issue.

You can read the full story and listen to an audio version of the story at

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