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The Book of Tea

Kakuzo Okakura

Book Overview: 

The Book of Tea was written by Okakura Kakuzo in the early 20th century. 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 noted to be accessible to Western audiences because though Kakuzo was born and raised Japanese, he was trained from a young age to speak English; and would speak it all his life, becoming proficient at communicating his thoughts in the Western Mind. In his book he elucidates such topics as Zen and Taoism, but also the secular aspects of Tea and Japanese life. The book emphasizes 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.
(Summary from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .We need a Niuka again to repair the grand devastation; we await the great Avatar. Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.





II. The Schools of Tea.

Tea is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its noblest qualities. We have good and bad tea, as we have good and bad paintings—generally the latter. There is no single recipe for making the perfect tea, as there are no rules for producing a Titian or a Sesson. Each preparation of the leaves has its individuality, its special affinity with water and heat, its own method of telling a story. The truly beautiful must always be in it. How much do we not suffer through the constant failure of society to recognise this simple and fundamental law of art and life;. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzō

Too little tea, we learn, was a Japanese expression used in reference to a person too busy to stop and smell the roses. Too much tea, then, refers to a person so busy smelling the roses he has little time for much else. In my humble estimation, Mr. Oka...more

This book was just wonderful. It discusses the history of teaism in Asia (mainly Japan but also China). It’s written in a very poetic and philosophical manner. Not only does the book talk about tea, it also talks about how tea has influenced Japanese culture, especially Japanese cuisine, clothing...more

Just a few things:

* If you find yourself moving 13 times across 4 cities in 3 states over a period of less than 3 years, you'll notice that your bedroom looks more and more like a Japanese tea room each time.

* Monzaemon Chikamatsu is referred to in this text as the "Japane...more

Aslında Bolano'nun Vahşi Hafiyelerin'den Çay Kitabı'na nasıl geldiğimi anlatmam lazım sanırım. Okuyanlar bilir; Vahşi Hafiyeler'de edebiyatçılardan bahsettiği kısımlar vardır. Orada daha önce de adına aşina olduğum ve merak da ettiğim Ezra Pound'dan da bahseder. Hafiyelerin peşinde hafiyeliğe öze...more

This book is about so much more than tea. This is about how something as seemingly simple as a beverage can define a culture’s history, philosophy and aesthetics. When it was originally published in 1906, the East was just opening to the West, and they had few cultural bridges to use to form bond...more

L'essenza della cerimonia del tè
Per chi ama la letteratura giapponese, questo libro è sicuramente di grande utilità, forse persino necessario.
L'autore, con antenati samurai, visse tra '800 e '900.
In una prosa molto bella, ci aiuta a comprendere i significati profondi della ceri...more

تنبيه لـ نفسي التي تركنُ للنسيان كثيرًا..
الذكرى التي ارتبطت بقراءتي لـ هذا الكتاب لا يحقّ لي أن أنساها ما حييت.

In the trembling grey of a spring dawn, when the birds were whispering in mysterious cadence among the trees, have you not felt that they were talking to their mates about the flowers?"
Wow!

"True beauty could be discovered only by one who mentally complete the incomplete.”

Just wow!.../>

That ending. Wow.

Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things. 4.5/5

The last time I felt what this...more

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