The Book of Tea (Hardcover)

The Book of Tea Cover Image
By Kakuzo Okakura, Everett Bleiler (Introduction by)
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Description


Kakuzo Okakura, who was known in America as a scholar, art critic, and Curator of Chinese and Japanese Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, directed almost his entire adult life toward the preservation and reawakening of the Japanese national heritage -- in art, ethics, social customs, and other areas of life -- in the face of the Westernizing influences that were revolutionizing Japan around the turn of the century.
This modern classic is essentially an apology for Eastern traditions and feelings to the Western world -- not in passionate, oversentimental terms, but with a charm and underlying toughness which clearly indicate some of the enduring differences between the Eastern and Western mind. Okakura exhibits the distinctive "personality" of the East through the philosophy of Teaism and the ancient Japanese tea ceremony. This ceremony is particularly revelatory of a conservative strain in Japanese culture; its ideals of aesthetic tranquility and submission to the ways of the past find no parallel in the major cultural motifs of the West.
Not only does he discuss the tea ceremony and its rigid formalities, and the cult and patterns of belief surrounding tea and tea-drinking, but Okakura also considers religious influences, origins, and history, and goes into the importance of flowers and floral arrangements in Japanese life -- their proper appreciation and cultivation, great tea-masters of the past, the tea-room with its air of serenity and purity, and the aesthetic and quasi-religious values pervading all these activities and attitudes.
Okakura's English style was graceful, yet exceptionally clear and precise, and this book is one of the most delightful essay-volumes to the English language. It has introduced hundreds of thousands of American readers to Japanese thinking and traditions. This new, corrected edition, complete with an illuminating preliminary essay on Okakura's life and work, will provide an engrossing account for anyone interested in the current and central themes of Oriental life.

About the Author


A student of Japanese art and culture affiliated with several institutions in Japan, Kakuzo Okakura (1862-1913) was the first head of the Asian Art Division of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780486479149
ISBN-10: 0486479145
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication Date: September 16th, 2010
Pages: 99
Language: English