The Book of Tea
"The Book of Tea" (1906), by Okakura Kakuzō, is the best written account about the Japanese spirit, the importance of its aesthetic perception and its relation with Taoism. Now it has been annotated by the expert in Japanese culture Natalio Cardoso.
"The Book of Tea" is not a treatise about the tea ceremony, but an attempt to transmit to the Western reader the way in which the Japanese aesthetic sense works, which is, in their culture, closely linked to the soul of a whole civilisation.
Okakura's intention in writing in English this brief though important treatise about Japanese aesthetics and, ultimately, eastern philosophy was to open the eyes of the western world to the deep oriental spirit, which he considered unknown by Europeans and Americans. This lack of knowledge, for Okakura, did not have its roots in geographical distance, but in the laf of interest of the westerners and the desire of some Japanese of adopting the superficial foreign customs.
In any case, our civilisation has opened itself to tea consumption and culture, and therefore to the East and its historic and philosophical riches.
Oriental philosophy is always present in this work, because, as Natalio states in his introduction, "The Book of Tea is actually a synthesis of Taoism, Zen and teaism. As teaism has Taoist origins, it gives rise in Japanese culture to its supreme expression, the tea ceremony."
#east #japan #china #philosophy #taoism #aesthetics
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