"The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in the Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity. Knowledge is bought through a bad conscience, benevolence practised for the sake of utility." From: "The Book Of Tea"
Poetisch und berührend schreibt der Autor über kulturhistorische Aspekte der japanische Teezeremonie und bringt dem interessierten Leser damit auch das Land ein Stück näher.
1862 als Sohn eines Seidenhändlers geboren, studierte Kakuzo Okakura in Tokyo Politiktwissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre, bevor er ab 1880 für das Kultusministerium arbeitete und in weiterer Folge eine Kunsthochschule gründete. Zeit seines Lebens befasste er sich mit der Vermittlung, Förderung und Erhaltung japanischer Kunst. Im vorliegenden Buch widmet er sich den kulturhistorischen Aspekten und bringt dem Leser die Bedeutung der japanischen Teezeremonie näher.
Die Kapitel gliedern sich wie folgt: I. The Cup of Humanity II. The Schools of Tea III. Taoism & Zennism IV. The Tea-Room V. Art Appreciation VI. Flowers VII. Tea-Masters
Die vorliegende Ausgabe ist preislich sehr günstig, enthält im Unterschied zu teureren Editionen keinerlei Abbildungen oder Illustrationen. Wer sich für philosophische Seite und die kulturhistorischen Hintergründe der japanischen Teezeremonie interessiert, dem wird dieses Buch vermutlich gut gefallen. Auch ein schönes Geschenk für Teeliebhaber und alle, die sich von östlich-japanischer Kultur angesprochen fühlen.
I haphazardly discovered this book when I had undertaken the task of better acquainting myself with tea. Totally ignorant, I opened the book half expecting to find dry writing on types of tea leaves. Instead I discovered something deeply beautiful. This book does indeed teach the history of tea and its preparation, but it also provides an eloquent introduction to Teaism and other aspects of Japanese culture. Okakura wavers most delicately between prose and poetry, between the educational and the spiritual. The words linger with you long after you have finished, and tea, once an ordinary beverage, acquires a soul-- a source of peace. "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." (Chapter One, The Cup of Humanity)
A more beautiful tribute to tea as a way of life there never was. I highly recommend the hard back version from 1956 for the elegance and beauty. I was enthralled with his description of the tea ceremony and of the real joy of flowers. A great book to return to periodically to refresh your beliefs in the beauty of the world and tea.
Nimmt man dieses Büchlein womöglich unbedarft zur Hand, denkt man vielleicht, dass es sich um einen der zahleichen verfügbaren Tee-Ratgeber handelt. Weit gefehlt! Anhand des "Chado", des "Weg des Tees", hat der Samurai-Sohn Okakura vor nun hundert Jahren eine großartige Kultur- und Sittengeschichte Japans entfaltet. Sicher geht es in seinem Klassiker auch um Tee direkt. Doch erst in zweiter Linie um das Getränk. In erster Linie geht es um Tee als Philosophie. - Ein Buch, das einem eine ganze Welt aufschließt!
I can honestly say I just downloaded the (free) ebook-Version of this book to test out my new kindle. (On that notion, right at the beginning I've got to say that I since read much better formatted ebooks, but in this one, at least, the content so much overcomes the coat of formatting that it simply doesn't matter after page 1.)
The Book of Tea explains a lot Japanese (and Asian) philosophy, revolving around the cup of tea, in Teaism as in Taoism, in a stunning form of simplicity, producing such gems as this:
"The outsider may indeed wonder at this seeming much ado about nothing. What a tempest in a tea-cup! he will say. But when we consider how small after all the cup of human enjoyment is, how soon overflowed with tears, how easily drained to the dregs in our quenchless thirst for infinity, we shall not blame ourselves for making so much of the tea-cup." (Chapter 1)
It also encompasses the history of tea in Asia as well as in the west. As a martial artist, I can honestly recommend this book to be read by tea-enthusiasts as well as philosophers, fighters or anyone with a few minutes of free time, to soak up the few pages of this book and beauty contained.
The one who doesn't already taste the first drops of a tea of your liking, be it in reality or only in mind, after reading this book I have only one counsel: Read it again.
For anyone interested in Asian, and particularly Japanese, culture, this book is a must. By following the history of tea and its role in the spiritual and cultural development of Japan, this slim volume gives the reader remarkable insight into the Japanese mind. Written with a keen sense of humor, the Book of Tea is very readable and entertaining, while at the same time illustrating the Japanese passion for the simple. This version is a quality translation, and you cannot beat the price. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Japan, Buddhism, Taoism, or tea.
I came across this book about 10 years ago and am still enthralled with it. Not only does it explain the hows and whys of the Japanese tea ceremony, the author gives wonderful thoughts on living and his philosophies of a good life. Interesting, thought provoking and just a wonderful read. How can you resist any book with the line "Let us dream of evanescence and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things" in the introduction? I highly recommend this book.
This classic exploration of Japanese culture, done at a time when there was great Oriental interest among cultured westerners, outshines all the trendy "let's have tea" books of today, in that it exposes the wonderful relationship between "Teaism" and Taoism, among other cultural traditions. Woodcut illustrations help set a peaceful mood. I urge people to get the nice hardcover edition if available, that has endpapers the color of real green tea.
Anyone interested in a deeper understanding of Asian culture, especially as it pertains to Zen and Taoist teachings, should check out this classic work. Written in a light, readable style and charged with subtle humor, this work gives a unique insight into Asian thought, culture, and values by tracing the history of tea. A simple beverage creating a simple pleasure, yet holding enough signifigance to be the focal point of religious ritual.