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Circular letter from Mitsuko Castle

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Dear members, dear friends of Schloss Mitsuko.

The year 2019 at Mitsuko Castle is coming to an end. It was a year of ups and downs. It started before the start of the season with the news of Professor Radeloff’s stroke and with clinic and rehab… For the first time in the history of Mitsuko Castle, we had to open the season without Professor Radeloff being there and I made him the important promise in the intensive care unit in Rostock that the tea house in the grove will actually be built this year. A huge challenge, because the goal was to finish it until the arrival of the tea masters from Japan for the day of the open monument, i.e. until the weekend 07. / 08.09.2019, that it could be inaugurated with the tea ceremonies. 

On the Tuesday after Pentecost we took the wood from the barn of Bauer Hanebrink, where it had been stored for many years. The stock had shrunk considerably compared to the wooden lists that were originally created. Nevertheless, we essentially wanted to follow the old blueprint, albeit with a number of changes. The resources for this major project were limited. But with the cooperation of Roland Hellfeldt, Heinz Hellfeldt, Andreas Mahnke, Jürgen Klimasch and the intern Nico, we were able to realize the project. With three ladders and a scaffolding, we built the tea house in just 2 months of pure construction time. In the coming year, a few more works are required, such as bringing wood shingles to the roof, glass cladding for the rear wall… But it is weatherproof and has already weathered a few storms.

We opened the season with the greetings of Professor Radeloff through Mitsuko and Lorenz to the Camellia Festival with a great and very successful double exhibition by Gisoo Kim and Armin Rieger, as well as the camellia flower exhibition with introductory lecture by Andre Tan. The festival was very well attended. 

For the 1. On May 1, numerous visitors came to the Paula memorial in the forest near Cammin. The commemoration was accompanied by the trombone choir and rounded off with a joint picnic in the forest.

The 15th Paths to simplicity were under the theme “Yugen” and this time was influenced by the cooperation with “Space for Space” in Düsseldorf. Cubes & Boxes changed from Düsseldorf to “Yugen”, was expanded here by works of numerous artists and moved back to Düsseldorf in a changed form. During the exhibition period, we moved out of the draw for the first time this year, as it became clear in the previous year that the visitors at Mitsuko Castle only visited other places of the draw to a very small extent. This year only two came to us with draw cards and had full understanding that we were not part of the draw. Instead, we had a strong and large program to offer: sound of the stones, the sound sculpture by Taka Kagitomi, the Mombasa Shipping Project by Rainer Junghanns, which was at the castle until the beginning of November, tea ceremonies and much more. With this we managed to attract a lot of guests. Fortunately, Professor Radeloff was able to be taken out of rehab for a few hours on this special occasion. A few days later he was released from rehab, to a new home for the disabled, as the stairs in the old manor house in Thürkow would not have been manageable. It was an unbelievably beautiful stroke of luck that it worked out that way.

This year we have had several tour groups, which were organized through travel agencies, for the coming year 2020 we already have bookings again. In addition, on Pentecost we were visited by the Oldtimer-Ralley (the Spider-Club with vehicles from all over Germany), who advertised for Schloss Mitsuko in interviews in the NDR and in their club magazine. We expect the Jaguar Club for 2020 and look forward to it. In addition, we had the Historical Faculty of the University of Greifswald with the College as a guest for one day.

The second half of the year began with Tanabata (07.07.), to which a Japanese family also visited the castle. The Japan Exhibition II was dedicated to everything from paper, paper, ink, calligraphy, origami and much more. 

Very meditative and extraordinary was the Nagasaki Memorial Day, for which we wrote texts from the World Haiku Award, which the city of Nagasaki had advertised on the subject of the atomic bombings a few years ago, from the Haiku Award of the UN and from two books, the texts on finds from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Japanese (Lorenz Radeloff), English and German. The beating of the bell was also deeply meditative and lasted more than an hour.

The martial arts Cottbus were also guests again this year and presented their art in the Kendo and Iaido this time in the hall. This was extremely intense due to the proximity to the spectators. The workshop then took place outside on the meadow at the Linde. It was enthusiastically received by virtually all visitors.

September brought the inauguration of the tea house and the tea ceremonies in the new tea house. The two tea masters were enthusiastic about the idea and the construction of the tea house. After a small tourist program for the two, who had come back from Japan at their own expense, we went to the partner museum in the Netherlands to the Siebold Huis in Leiden. There we celebrated a tea ceremony with the two tea masters and Lorenz Radeloff. The event was not only fully booked, the interest was huge. 

The last exhibition of the season, which will be on view until the Camlienfest 2020, began on October 3rd, the exhibition of Setsuko Fukushima: Alternative Botany.

Overall, the year was an extraordinarily successful year. Since August we have changed the opening hours during the season. Only on Mondays is closed otherwise from Tuesday to Sunday is open from 1pm to 5pm from 30am. March to 31 March. October. During the winter months it is only open by appointment. This was made possible by the employment of a total of three professional volunteers, who also take intensive care of the grove.

For the next two years I am working intensively on the program and I am already pleased to say that we will again offer special events in 2020 and 2021. 2021 we also have a double anniversary 20 years of Mitsuko Castle and German-Japanese Friendship Year. To this end, we will present a particularly extensive program with many highlights.

Camellia Festival 2020 – 28.03.2020 and Finissage Exhibition Setsuko Fukushima

Paula – A Remembrance Against Racism, War and Violence 01.05.2020

Ways to Simplicity 16: Hishiryo – Thinking from the Reason of Non-Thinking – May 31, 2020

Mittsommer@Mitsuko, among others with Hishiryo the concert

Tanabata 07.07. 2020 

Japan Exhibition III: Ceramics from the Radeloff Collection – 01.08.2020

Nagasaki Memorial Day 09.08.2020

Tokugawa Martial Arts – Kendo and Iaido 15.08.2020

Tea Ceremony 12.-13.09.2020

Solo exhibition 03.10.2020 

From Lights and Lights III 29.11.2020 – 31.03.2021

The website is constantly being expanded. It is now trilingual. 

We are working to ensure that Schloss Mitsuko stays and thrives. Therefore: Please support the work as you can.

We are pleased that the castle was able to reach many visitors again this year, also a whole series of groups who have visited the castle and will visit later this year. We look forward to your next visit. 

It remains for me to wish you all a contemplative time and a good, healthy year 2020.


Sincerely, Ralph Tepel

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