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The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

The Book of Tea (original 1906; edition 1991)

by Kakuzo Okakura

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2,214505,014 (3.94)51
Written in 1906 by a future philosopher and Zen teacher, this work, which was intended to be read aloud in a famous salon, interweaves the history of tea with Japanese society. It also contains essays on spirituality, poetry and art.
Title:The Book of Tea
Authors:Kakuzo Okakura
Info:Kodansha International (JPN) (1991), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:eastern spirituality

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The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura (1906)

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» See also 51 mentions

English (41)  Danish (3)  Spanish (2)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  All languages (50)
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This book, although a fine piece of literature, is utterly useless for use in teaching English Communication.
  MichaelFS | Oct 27, 2020 |
Okakura uses tea, a drink partaken of in both East and West, as a way of demystifying Japanese culture and challenging Orientalism in Europe and America. Written in English for a Western audience, it is a wonderfully poetic introduction to Japanese culture and aesthetics. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Feb 16, 2020 |
The Book of Tea was written by Japanese scholar Kakuzo Okakura and was published in 1906.

While containing some interesting facts about the evolution of tea drinking and the history and significance behind the Tea Ceremony, this book is only marginally about tea. It’s more a treatise on Japanese art and culture as a whole. Entire chapters are devoted to architecture, art appreciation and flower arranging. However, Okakura eventually ties everything back to the importance of tea in the Asian cultures.

There is also considerable time spent discussing Taoism and its relationship to “Teaism.” The Book of Tea was written in support of a personal passion and it equates all "Teaist" practices to an art. While not an authoritative source of information for tea aficionados, the text is extremely quotable and has some beautiful descriptions of the importance of tea in the Japanese culture.

"In the liquid amber within the ivory porcelain, the initiated may touch the sweet reticence of Confucius, the piquancy of Laotse, and the ethereal aroma of Sakyamuni himself."

This book would be of interest to anyone wanting to better understand Japanese appreciation of beauty and order- regardless of whether you are a tea drinker. ( )
  pmtracy | Dec 17, 2019 |
The room is silent
A single flash of lightning
outside the tearoom
The tea-master knows enough
not to speak.

Read this if you want to think about: Japan. Tea. Tao. Space. Emptiness. Focus. Art. History. Zen. Punctuation. Equality. Awareness. ( )
  6loss | Nov 7, 2019 |
A classic, well written work of Japanese literature. Its subtitle could be 'an asian life philosophy.' Written in 1906 as western culture became more adopted in Japan. This book was meant to preserve the traditions and 'Teaism' culture developed in Japan based in the ancient tea ceremony. ( )
  landschaft_archt | Feb 19, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (88 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kakuzō Okakuraprimary authorall editionscalculated
Faber, WillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soldevila, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steindorff, MargueriteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steindorff, UlrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vloemans, AntoonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage.
The whole idea of Teaism is a result of this Zen conception of greatness in the smallest incidents of life.
One day Soshi was walking on the bank of a river with a friend. "How delightfully the fishes are enjoying themselves in the water!" exclaimed Soshi. His friend spake to him thus: "You are not a fish; how do you know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?" "You are not myself," returned Soshi; "how do you know that I do not know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?"
Rikiu was watching his son Shoan as he swept and watered the garden path. "Not clean enough," said Rikiu, when Shoan had finished his task, and bade him try again. After a weary hour the son returned to Rikiu: "Father, there is nothing more to be done. The steps have been washed for the third time, the stone lanterns and the trees are well sprinkled with water, moss and lichens are shining with a fresh verdure; not a twig, not a leaf have I left on the ground." "Young fool," chided the tea-master, "that is not the way a garden path should be swept." Saying this, Rikiu stepped into the garden, shook a tree and scattered over the garden gold and crimson leaves, scraps of the brocade of autumn! What Rikiu demanded was not cleanliness alone, but the beautiful and the natural also.
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Written in 1906 by a future philosopher and Zen teacher, this work, which was intended to be read aloud in a famous salon, interweaves the history of tea with Japanese society. It also contains essays on spirituality, poetry and art.

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