A timeless classic that points to tea as Asia's unique power to influence the world.
About the Author
Okakura (1863-1913) was an administrator and scholar who had a profound effect on art and aesthetics both in Japan and the West. He helped found an arts college and in 1904 became an assistant curator at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Through his writings, Okakura was able to permanently affect the way the West viewed Japan and Asia.
Table of Contents
The Cup of Humanity
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
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—Lu Wu, 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
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 emphasises 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 does not pretend to be other than a mere cottage—The simplicity and purism of the tea-room—Symbolism in the construction of the tea-room—The system of its decoration—A sanctuary from the vexations of the outer world
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 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
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 Rikyu Afterword