Overview

The Book of Tea was written by Okakura Kakuzo in the early 20th century. It was first published in 1906, and has since been republished many times.

In the book, Kakuzo introduces the term Teaism and how Tea has affected nearly every aspect of Japanese culture, thought, and life. The book is accessibile to Western audiences because Kakuzo was taught at a young age to speak English; and spoke it all his life, becoming proficient at communicating...
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The Book of Tea

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Overview

The Book of Tea was written by Okakura Kakuzo in the early 20th century. It was first published in 1906, and has since been republished many times.

In the book, Kakuzo introduces the term Teaism and how Tea has affected nearly every aspect of Japanese culture, thought, and life. The book is accessibile to Western audiences because Kakuzo was taught at a young age to speak English; and spoke it all his life, becoming proficient at communicating his thoughts to the Western Mind. In his book, he discusses such topics as Zen and Taoism, but also the secular aspects of Tea and Japanese life. The book emphasises how Teaism taught the Japanese many things; most importantly, simplicity. Kakuzo argues that this tea-induced simplicity affected art and architecture, and he was a long-time student of the visual arts. He ends the book with a chapter on Tea Masters, and spends some time talking about Sen no Rikyu and his contribution to the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940148920465
  • Publisher: Hillside Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/9/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,136,335
  • File size: 78 KB

Meet the Author

Okakura Kakuzō (February 14, 1863 - September 2, 1913) 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 Gahō and Yokoyama Taikan. In 1904, he became the first head of the Asian art division of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Okakura was a high-profile urbanite who had an international sense of self in the Meiji Era as the first dean of the Tokyo Fine Arts School (now the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music). He wrote all of his main works in English. Okakura researched Japan's traditional art and traveled to Europe, the United States, China and India. He gave the world an image of Japan as a member of the East, in the face of a massive onslaught of Western culture. His book, The Ideals of the East, (1904), published on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War, is famous for its opening line, "Asia is one." He argued that Asia is "one" in its humiliation, of falling behind in achieving modernization, and thus being colonized by the Western powers. This was an early expression of Pan-Asianism. But then afterward, Okakura was compelled to protest against a Japan that tried to catch up with the Western powers by sacrificing other Asian countries in the Russo-Japanese War. and thus was one of the major reformers during Japan's breathtaking period of modernization beginning with the Meiji Restoration. Outside of Japan, Okakura had a remarkable impact on a number of impor
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    ouch,

    There are some people who just like all things Eastern as if it was a fad and they will enjoy this book. But I found that a pompous and resentful arrogance pervades this book. The outspokenness and cynicism takes refuge in the cryptic symbolic meanings in the Tea process that goutsiders don ft understand. h Rather than simply explaining the wonderful intricacies of wabi-sabi and tea the book seems almost angry and a little threatened by the un-indoctrinated. It is staunchly anti-western myopically focusing on the most extreme examples of consumerism and decoration. It makes Teaism appear cult like and a smug past time for the OCD than a microcosm of life ca living allegory of historic and philosophic principles for aesthetics and Taoist/Zen concepts. Artistic taste after all is subjective yet I observed a lot of value judgments here as to what is wonderful and what is a tragedy in art. However the book is written with a colorful poetic tone and has revealing insights into art forms and their effects of people such as Majestic art to make you feel small, vs. simple art to make one feel simple, clam, and just being. There is an interesting brief history of tea and its importance in countries around the world. There was a tantrum about cutting flowers that perhaps I failed to grasp but came across more over like a childish personal sympathy than anything meaningful. I learned from this book regardless of how much of it I disregarded. So I recommend it with a grain of salt. It missed the real meaning of the Tea process, for a book calling itself THE book of Tea.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Awesome book, much more in this than just a book about tea. It r

    Awesome book, much more in this than just a book about tea. It reveals a great deal about ancient Japanese culture and customs.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    I'm glad it was just a sample.

    Boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Five Stars!

    Five Stars!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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