The evolution of Japanese art and its relationship to Buddhism.
This is a short but very concise introduction to Asian art by the author of The Book of Tea. Written from a Japanese perspective, and focusing on Japanese art, one of the major themes is the relationship between spirituality, particularly Buddhism, and the evolution of Asian art.
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"Okakura Kakuzo (February 14, 1863 - September 2, 1913; also known as Okakura Tenshin) was a Japanese scholar who contributed the development of arts in Japan. Outside Japan, he is chiefly remembered today as the author of The Book of Tea.
Born in Yokohama to parents originally from Fukui, he attended Tokyo Imperial University, where he first met and studied under Ernest Fenollosa. In 1890, Okakura was one of the principal founders of the first Japanese fine-arts academy, Tokyo bijutsu gakko (Tokyo School of Fine Arts) and a year later became the head, though he was later ousted from the school in an administrative struggle. Later, he also founded Nihon Bijutsuin (Japan Institute of Fine Arts) with Hashimoto Gahu and Yokoyama Taikan. He was invited by William Sturgis Bigelow to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1904 and became the first head of the Asian art division in 1910."