Historical Reprints Book of Tea: Cha-no-yu- Tea Cult of Japan

Book of Tea: Cha-no-yu- Tea Cult of Japan

Book of Tea: Cha-no-yu- Tea Cult of Japan
Catalog # SKU1148
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Kakuzo Okakura
 
$12.95
Quantity

Description

The Book of Tea
by Okakura Kakuzô


Cha-no-yu,Tea Cult of Japan
by Yasunoke Fukukita


2 books in one volume!


This volume is a TGS Historical Reprint. Tea was once the commodity of the kings and the aphrodisiac of empires. Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China, in the eighth century, it entered the realm of poetry as one of the polite amusements. The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion of aestheticism--Teaism. Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.

Excerpt from The Book 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; Lichilai, a Sung poet, has sadly remarked that there were three most deplorable things in the world: the spoiling of fine youths through false education, the degradation of fine art through vulgar admiration, and the utter waste of fine tea through incompetent manipulation.

Like Art, Tea has its periods and its schools. Its evolution may be roughly divided into three main stages: the Boiled Tea, the Whipped Tea, and the Steeped Tea. We moderns belong to the last school. These several methods of appreciating the beverage are indicative of the spirit of the age in which they prevailed. For life is an expression, our unconscious actions the constant betrayal of our innermost thought. Confucius said that "man hideth not." Perhaps we reveal ourselves too much in small things because we have so little of the great to conceal. The tiny incidents of daily routine are as much a commentary of racial ideals as the highest flight of philosophy or poetry. Even as the difference in favorite vintage marks the separate idiosyncrasies of different periods and nationalities of Europe, so the Tea-ideals characterise the various moods of Oriental culture. The Cake-tea which was boiled, the Powdered-tea which was whipped, the Leaf-tea which was steeped, mark the distinct emotional impulses of the Tang, the Sung, and the Ming dynasties of China. If we were inclined to borrow the much-abused terminology of art-classification, we might designate them respectively, the Classic, the Romantic, and the Naturalistic schools of Tea.

Excerpt from Cha-no-yu,Tea Cult of Japan

In acquiring a knowledge of Oriental lands, it is necessary to obtain an insight into the cultural life of the people. Visitors to Japan are not content with mere sightseeing. Even a cursory glimpse into any branch of the ancient culture of Japan is helpful in forming an appreciation of the manners and customs which differ from those prevailing in other countries.

To those who are interested in the cultural life of the Japanese people, there are innumerable avenues of approach of greater significance than sukiyaki parties and geisha dances.

Nothing is more closely associated with the arts and crafts of Japan than Cha-no-yu, an aesthetic pastime in which powdered green tea is served in a refined atmosphere. It is a subject which requires a life-long study to appreciate fully the underlying subtle aestheticism, with its manifold bearings upon religion, literature and philosophy, as well as the arts and crafts. A knowledge of Cha-no-yu, however slight, will therefore be highly useful to understand and adequately appraise the home life of the Japanese people.


SoftboundSoftbound, 5x8, 120+ pages


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