The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzō, 1906
The Book of Tea (茶の本 Cha no Hon) by Okakura Kakuzō (1906) is a long essay linking the role of chadō (teaism) to the aesthetic and cultural aspects of Japanese life. This essay, or book, was written for a Western audience where the book emphasizes how Teaism taught the Japanese many things; most importantly, simplicity. Kakuzō argues that this tea-induced simplicity affected art and architecture in Japan. It is a 53 page book that can be easily found in PDF format if one has a desire to read and study his writings on this subject.
Okakura Kakuzō (February 14, 1863 – September 2, 1913) was a Japanese scholar who made contributions to the development of art in Japan. Okakura was one of the principal founders of the first Japanese fine-arts academy, Tokyo bijutsu gakko (Tokyo School of Fine Arts). He also…
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Part II, The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzō, 1906
If you haven’t read Part I, we suggest you do that before beginning Part II.
“The tea-room (the Sukiya) does not pretend to be other than a mere cottage—a straw hut, as we call it. The original ideographs for Sukiya mean the Adobe of Fancy. Latterly the various tea-masters substituted various Chinese characters according to their conception of the tea-room, and the term Sukiya may signify the Abode of Vacancy or the Abode of the Unsymmetrical. It is an Abode of Fancy inasmuch as it is an ephemeral structure built to house a poetic impulse. It is an Abode of Vacancy inasmuch as it is devoid of ornamentation except for what may be placed in it to satisfy some aesthetic need of the moment. It is an Abode of the Unsymmetrical inasmuch as it is consecrated to the worship…
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