Japanese Arts and Self-Cultivation

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Explores how spiritual values are learned and mind and body developed through the practice of the Japanese arts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This fascinating book features the author’s interviews with masters of the arts in Japan and his own experiences with the arts, along with background on the arts and ethics from Japanese philosophy and religion. Ultimately, the Japanese arts emerge as a deep cultural repository of ideal attitudes and behavior, which lead to enlightenment itself.
Library Journal

Suitably modest in length and scale, this book exemplifies the mindful enrichment of everyday life that we think of as Japanese and exhibits precisely those elements of Asian awareness and attentiveness to detail that appeal most strongly to the West. Carter (emeritus, Trent Univ., Canada; Encounter with Enlightenment: A Study in Japanese Ethics) discusses Aikido, gardening, tea, flowers, and pottery with learned lucidity, showing the reader how these disciplines contribute to self-transformation. For most collections.

—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791472545
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 197
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert E. Carter is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Trent University in Canada. His many books include Encounter with Enlightenment: A Study of Japanese Ethics, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Eliot Deutsch




The Bodymind
Unification of Body and Mind
Meditation as a Path
The Resultant Transformation
A Brief Map

2. Aikido—The Way of Peace

The Beginnings
Aikido: One and Not One
Aikido and Budo
A Spiritual Way
Aikido and Ethics
The Value and Worth of the Other
Aikido and Sports
Letting Go of the Ego

3. Landscape Gardening as Interconnectedness

The Shinto Influence
The Buddhist Influence
Zen-Inspired Gardens
Masuno’s Gardens
I and Thou
The Ethics of Gardens

4. The Way of Tea (Chado)—To Live without Contrivance

Background to the Way of Tea
Zen and Pure Land
From Sen no Rikyu to Sen Genshitsu XV
The Lineage
Beyond Language

5. The Way of Flowers (Ikebana)—Eternity

Is in the Moment
Zen and Ikebana
Shinto and Ikebana
The Koan of Living by Dying and Dying by Living
Reflections of a Pioneer
The Principle of Three
A Culture of Flowers

6. The Way of Pottery—Beauty Is in the Abdomen

Non-Dualistic Awareness
Hamada: Teacher and Collector
. . . and Ethics?


Ethics and Self-Transformation
The Train to Takayama
Attitudes Revisited

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    An Excellent Introduction to Japanese Art & Spirituality

    Mr. Carter's new book provides readers with a fine introduction to several classical Japanese art forms, while it explains how these cultural arts function as 'Ways' that lead to spiritual realization. The author's many years of experience in this field are clearly evident, and the book will appeal to readers well familiar with these disciplines as well as novices.

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