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'It Will Touch Your Heart:' Russia Seen Through the Eyes of Japanese Tea Sensei

© Sputnik / Maxim BlinovRadisson Royal Moscow hotel
Radisson Royal Moscow hotel - Sputnik International
Sato Shizue is a master of tea ceremonies and a great connoisseur of Japanese culture. She has been in Russia many times to hold master classes in Moscow. Sato shared her impressions about the culture and the modern appearance of the country she fell in love with, and gave some advice to foreign tourists who wish to visit Russia.

The first time Sato visited Russia was in 1989, during perestroika, a political reformation movement. Then, on a cold winter evening, she arrived in the Russian capital's spacious but gloomy airport. These were difficult times for the country — great changes were happening in front of everyone's eyes. Sato's first impression of Russia was formed against the background of the general atmosphere of anxiety.

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However, since then a lot has changed, and Sato's impressions of Russia have changed as well. Today, this is a completely different country. She has now visited Russia many times as a tourist and for work. Each year she arrives in Moscow with great pleasure to talk through the intricacies of the tea ceremony, calligraphy and other elements of traditional Japanese culture.

Sato shared with Sputnik the biggest impression Russia has made on her.

"The most important thing is the beauty of Russian cities. There are a lot of ancient buildings around, which are maintained in good condition, and many of them are reconstructed. Also, every time I come to Russia, I feel the presence of the rich Russian culture."

© Sputnik / Evgenya Novozhenina / Go to the photo bankThe restored facade of the historical building of the Moscow Helikon Opera Musical Theater
The restored facade of the historical building of the Moscow Helikon Opera Musical Theater - Sputnik International
The restored facade of the historical building of the Moscow Helikon Opera Musical Theater

The tea sensei also noted that the image of modern Russia is politicized.

"This country will open to you in all its glory, but if you go there. So I would recommend everyone to visit Russia at least once in order to feel the depth of its culture, to discover its rich heritage, such as a theater, history, literature and others," Sato said.

© Sputnik / Ekaterina Chesnokova / Go to the photo bankA monument to Yury Dolgoruky on Tverskaya Street in Moscow
A monument to Yury Dolgoruky on Tverskaya Street in Moscow - Sputnik International
A monument to Yury Dolgoruky on Tverskaya Street in Moscow

"Russia can touch your heart deeply, but you need to see it with your own eyes. Yes, it is cold here sometimes, but this has its own charm and beauty. Therefore, if you have an opportunity, be sure to visit this country, which will not leave you indifferent to its culture," she continued.

Sato also said that during her trips the Russian people impress her with their hospitality and politeness.

"In Russia, I talk a lot with people; I always forge good relations with them. Basically, these are the people who are very fond of Japan and the Japanese. On my latest trip, I also had a warm and friendly welcome."

© Sputnik / Vladimir Sergeev / Go to the photo bankCities of Russia. Moscow
Cities of Russia. Moscow - Sputnik International
Cities of Russia. Moscow

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According to Sato, the Russians and Japanese have a lot in common. "If you look, for example, at old Russian songs or ballads and compare them with Japanese ones, you will see that they are very similar in the way people invest their feelings and convey emotions in them," she said.

Regarding the image of Russian men, she noticed their high etiquette towards women.

"I think it is explained by proper upbringing, when they are at an early age taught how to behave. Even very young boys already know how to respect women. I drew attention to the fact that in any situation men try to be tactful," Sato concluded.

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