The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea

by Kakuzo Okakura
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The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

The Book of Tea is a brief but classic essay on tea drinking, its history, restorative powers, and rich connection to Japanese culture. Okakura felt that "Teaism" was at the very center of Japanese life and helped shape everything from art, aesthetics, and an appreciation for the ephemeral to architecture, design, gardens, and painting. In tea could be found one source of what Okakura felt was Japan's and, by extension, Asia's unique power to influence the world. Containing both a history of tea in Japan and lucid, wide-ranging comments on the schools of tea, Zen, Taoism, flower arranging, and the tea ceremony and its tea-masters, this book is deservedly a timeless classic and will be of interest to anyone interested in the Japanese arts and ways.

About the Author:
Kakuzo Okakura an assistant curator at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781463630782
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/21/2011
Pages: 52
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.11(d)

About the Author

Kakuzo Okakura was born in 1862 in Yokohama, Japan. 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 the (Japan Art Institute) with Hashimoto Gaho 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. He died in 1913.

Table of Contents

The Cup of Humanity     1
Tea ennobled into Teaism, a religion of aestheticism, the adoration of the beautiful among everyday facts
Teaism developed among both nobles and peasants
The mutual misunderstanding of the New World and the Old
The Worship of Tea in the West
Early records of Tea in European writing
The Taoists' version of the combat between Spirit and Matter
The modern struggle for wealth and power
The Schools of Tea     17
The three stages of the evolution of Tea
The Boiled Tea, the Whipped Tea, and the Steeped Tea, representative of the Tang, the Sung, and the Ming dynasties of China
Luwuh, the first apostle of Tea
The Tea-ideals of the three dynasties
To the latter-day Chinese Tea is a delicious beverage, but not an ideal
In Japan Tea is a religion of the art of life
Taoism and Zennism     33
The connection of Zennism with Tea
Taoism, and its successor Zennism, represent the individualistic trend of the Southern Chinese mind
Taoism accepts the mundane and tries to find beauty in our world of woe and worry
Zennism emphasizes the teachings of Taoism
Through consecrated meditation may be attained supreme self-realisation
Zennism, like Taoism, is the worship of Relativity
Ideal of Teaism a result of the Zen conception of greatness in the smallest incidents of life
Taoism furnished the basis for aesthetic ideals, Zennism made them practical
The Tea-Room     51
The tea-room does not pretend to be other than a mere cottage
The simplicity and purism of the tea-room
Symbolism in the construction of thetea-room
The system of its decoration
A sanctuary from the vexations of the outer world
Art Appreciation     73
Sympathetic communion of minds necessary for art appreciation
The secret understanding between the master and ourselves
The value of suggestion
Art is of value only to the extent that it speaks to us
No real feeling in much of the apparent enthusiasm to-day
Confusion of art with archaeology
We are destroying art in destroying the beautiful in life
Flowers     87
Flowers our constant friends
The Master of Flowers
The waste of Flowers among Western communities
The art of floriculture in the East
The Tea-Masters and the Cult of Flowers
The Art of Flower Arrangement
The adoration of the Flower for its own sake
The Flower-Masters
Two main branches of the schools of Flower Arrangement, the Formalistic and the Naturalesque
Tea-Masters     107
Real appreciation of art only possible to those who make of it a living influence
Contributions of the Tea-Masters to art
Their influence on the conduct of life
The Last Tea of Rikiu

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The Book Of Tea 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book, much more in this than just a book about tea. It reveals a great deal about ancient Japanese culture and customs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This edition was converted using OCR without any editing. Many letters are confused with special characters or similar looking letters or letter combinations. I do not recommend this version at all. It is very difficult to read. I expected a better edition from B&N.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five Stars!
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