Tomoe Katagiri, our much-loved master of nyoho-e (Buddha’s teaching represented in clothing), recently retired from active teaching. Tomoe-san has taught generations of students to sew rakusu, okesa, robes, and more, sharing not only skills and wisdom but also her great warm heart. As Katagiri Roshi’s wife, Tomoe was a tireless leader of many aspects of sangha life, and since his death she has continued to support his lineage in many ways.
Tomoe named three successors. Kaaren Wiken is a metal sculpture artist and Zen sewing teacher who lives in Wisconsin and travels to Zen centers to lead sewing retreats. Tracey Walen is a priest at Clouds in Water Zen Center in Saint Paul. Rosemary Taylor is a priest at MZMC. Tomoe’s legacy includes her book, Study of the Okesa, which has guided countless dharma students through their sewing projects. Fortunately, Tomoe’s health is good and she will continue to be a welcome presence in the Zen community.
In gassho, Andrea