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The Origin of Tea
Darma, third son of Koyuwo, King of India, a religious high priest from Siaka (the author of that Eastern paganism about a thousand years before the Christian era), coming to China, to teach the way of happiness, lived a most austere life, passing his days in continual mortification, and retiring by night to solitudes, in which he fed only upon the leaves of trees and other vegetable productions. After several years passed in this manner, in fasting and watching, it happened that, contrary to his vows, the pious Darma fell asleep! When he awoke, he was so much enraged at himself, that, to prevent the offence to his vows for the future, he got rid of his eyelids and placed them on the ground. On the following day, returning to his accustomed devotions, he beheld, with amazement, springing up from his eyelids, two small shrubs of an unusual appearance, such as he had never before seen, and of whose qualities he was, of course, entirely ignorant. The saint, however, not being wholly devoid of curiosity-or, perhaps, being unusually hungry-was prompted to eat of the leaves, and immediately felt within him a wonderful elevation of mind, and a vehement desire of divine contemplation, with which he acquainted his disciples, who were eager to follow the example of their instructor, and they readily received into common use the fragrant plant which has been the theme of so many poetical and literary pens in succeeding ages.
Posted March 7, 2012
This is a rather poorly digitized 1908 book of rags and tags of poetry essays advertisements legends bits of folklore and a large amount of English men of letters adoring it or deploring it.
Nothing much to do with Japan bur it does cover tea drinking habits in Japan China Bokhara and a silk road caravan (ick) A fairly interesting idea. Too bad many of the quotes are pre 1860 which era (think E. A. Poe 1840s) which tend to be so floridly verbose. I thought the merchant claiming every possible virtue, and the doctor every possible vice including sterility was the best. I especially enjoyed the doctor telling everyone to give up that nasty unwholesome tea and drink beer and wine instead.