At the very foundation of Japanese culture is a reverence for mastership, whether that mastery is of an artistic expression, a traditional ceremony or a martial art. The Japanese word for master is sensei, and that term encompasses far more than a refined talent. It means the kind of mastery gained from devotion, from a centuries-old tradition carried down through a family line, from mindful and patient learning. The Japanese honor their sensei, recognizing that they are the keepers of Japanese culture, tending to and refining the magnificent beauty of this gracious country. Japan’s sensei are at the heart of Esprit’s artistry tours — spending time with us, instructing us in their arts and specialties, opening their homes and studios to us — and help us not just to see, but to personally experience the soul of Japan. As you would expect, Esprit’s tour leaders are also knowledgeable about Japan’s arts, having been avid students themselves. But what you’ll find is that they’re still eager to learn, to share what they have learned, and to introduce you to the sensei who have become their friends over the years.