The Language of Zen: Words for a World of ChangeCulture
Ichigo Ichie: Newness in Every Encounter
The phrase 一期一会 (ichigo ichie) means a single meeting (一会; ichie) in the course of a lifetime (一期; ichigo), or a “once-in-a-lifetime encounter.” It derives from the tea ceremony.
A tea ceremony may take place many times in the same room, perhaps even involving the same host and guests. Yet participants should infuse themselves, body and soul, with the thought that the day’s particular event will only occur once. When we meet people in other situations, considering each time as unique makes these opportunities precious.
Even with people we see regularly—like parents, brothers and sisters, or friends and colleagues—we will treat them with more care if we think of each meeting as only happening once. And going beyond people to dogs, cats, and other animals, or to trees and other plants, we can view all encounters as never to be repeated. This will surely foster a new sense of connection with the world.
Cast of Characters
Noriko, a selfish junior high school student
Her father, a baker
A young baking apprentice
The End(Originally published in Japanese on March 22, 2017. Manga by Mokutan Angelo.)