Nozomu (Nez) and Donna Tokugawa are the co-founders of Chado-En.
We came to tea as a business and our current lifestyle after first spending 30 years in the financial industry. Nez was a leader, consulting with numerous California Independent Banks on computer systems and data management before assuming a Chief Information Officer position for a premier performing bank and President of a data processing company providing services to several financial companies. Donna advanced within the banking/holding company ranks, ultimately holding the positions of Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Board member. We both worked very hard within our profession as well as served on various charitable boards including the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House . Over time we began to see our careers as a way to make a living but not a life!
Perhaps because we were in the financial sector, we had become very aware of the pressures behind what we soon called a “Corporate lifestyle” which has changed daily life in America. Wall Street drives choices not moral and ethical behavior and as a result the rationale “It is not personal just business” seems acceptable. Yet these “business” actions are very personal to all of us.
We can hear the rumbles of Americans experiencing the deterioration of our health care system from one of the best in the world to one driven by pharmaceutical companies advertising directly to each of us suggesting the drugs we should “ask our doctor for”. At the same time we see hospitals operating without sufficient staff and many closing completely. Frustration is building as degenerative diseases such as cancer and diabetes reach epidemic levels. We are living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world yet wellness appears to decrease almost daily.
The World Health Organization defines health as “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Their statistics show America ranking 37th in the world and says “The United States spends a great deal on health care but gains too little”. We define wellness as a state in which a healthy, mind, body and spirit may flourish!
We are not doctors or politicians simply students of tea. In our humble opinion adopting a proactive, preventative approach to our overall wellness is critical to enjoying a quality life. We believe adopting a Tea lifestyle plays a significant role.
Our goal is to contribute to increased awareness of the various aspects of a Tea lifestyle and Tea Culture. One of the ways we hope to achieve this is with our “Virtual Retreat” a website designed for personal enrichment through the discovery of various Tea Cultures and Tea lifestyles enjoyed around the world. In 2000 we took our first of many trips to Japan, China and Taiwan. Of course tea is found in many more places around the world but this is where it all began and it was here that our interest was peaked. As we studied tea we learned of its ancient healing properties. Not only, the significant medical and scientific reports published today, but also about the daily rituals and the beliefs. By practicing and adopting some of the ideas that have been followed for more than one thousand years and developing our own tea culture a higher level of wellness and enrichment may be achieved.
We donate 10% or more of our net profits to “The Wellness Gardens” a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases through awareness and lifestyle choices! Please visit The Wellness Gardens to learn more.
Nozomu and Donna Tokugawa are Authors and Lectures on the subject of tea and publish Tea Lifestyle Journal.