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Ebook The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura read! Book Title: The Book of Tea
The author of the book: Kakuzō Okakura
Date of issue: June 1st 1964
ISBN: 0486200701
ISBN 13: 9780486200705
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 376 KB
Edition: Dover Publications

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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.

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Ebook The Book of Tea read Online! Okakura Kakuzō (岡倉覚三), also known as Okakura Tenshin (岡倉 天心), was a Japanese scholar who contributed the development of arts in Japan. Outside Japan, he is chiefly remembered today as the author of 'The Book of Tea'.

Born in Yokohama to parents originally from Fukui, Okakura learned English while attending a school operated by Christian missionary, Dr. Curtis Hepburn. At 15, he entered Tokyo Imperial University, where he first met and studied under Harvard-educated professor Ernest Fenollosa. In 1889, Okakura co-founded the periodical Kokka. A year later he was one of the principal founders of the first Japanese fine-arts academy, the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (東京美術学校 Tōkyō Bijutsu Gakkō), and a year later became its head, although he was later ousted from the school in an administrative struggle. Later, he also founded the Japan Art Institute with Hashimoto Gahō and Yokoyama Taikan. He was invited by William Sturgis Bigelow to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1904 and became the first head of the Asian art division in 1910.

Okakura was a high-profile urbanite who had an international sense of self. In the Meiji period he was the first dean of the Tokyo Fine Arts School (later merged with the Tokyo Music School to form the current Tokyo University of the Arts). He wrote all of his main works in English. Okakura researched Japan's traditional art and traveled to Europe, the United States, China and India. He emphasised the importance to the modern world of Asian culture, attempting to bring its influence to realms of art and literature that, in his day, were largely dominated by Western culture.

His book, 'The Ideals of the East' (1904), published on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War, is famous for its opening line, "Asia is one." He argued that Asia is "one" in its humiliation, of falling behind in achieving modernization, and thus being colonized by the Western powers. This was an early expression of Pan-Asianism. Later Okakura felt compelled to protest against a Japan that tried to catch up with the Western powers, but by sacrificing other Asian countries in the Russo-Japanese War.

In Japan, Okakura, along with Fenollosa, is credited with "saving" Nihonga, or painting done with traditional Japanese technique, as it was threatened with replacement by Western-style painting, or "Yōga", whose chief advocate was artist Kuroda Seiki. In fact this role, most assiduously pressed after Okakura's death by his followers, is not taken seriously by art scholars today, nor is the idea that oil painting posed any serious "threat" to traditional Japanese painting. Yet Okakura was certainly instrumental in modernizing Japanese aesthetics, having recognized the need to preserve Japan's cultural heritage, and thus was one of the major reformers during Japan's period of modernization beginning with the Meiji Restoration.

Outside of Japan, Okakura had an impact on a number of important figures, directly or indirectly, who include philosopher Martin Heidegger, poet Ezra Pound, and especially poet Rabindranath Tagore and heiress Isabella Stewart Gardner, who were close personal friends of his.


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