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The Tea Ceremony Paperback – May 1, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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About the Author


SEN'O TANAKA was born in 1928, the grandchild bf Sensho Tanaka, founder of the Japan Association of the Tea Ceremony (Dai Nihon Chado Gakkai). A graduate of the Tokyo Higher Mercantile Marine School, he studied Chinese literature at Nisho Gakusha University, and did graduate work in Oriental philosophy at Waseda University, where he earned a master's degree. Mr. Tanaka became the president of the Dai Nihon Chado Gakkai in 1961. In 1990, he became the senior executive director of the Santoku-an Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the tea association. He is the publisher of the monthly magazine Chado no Kenkyu (Studitis in the Tea Ceremony) and regularly contributes articles to the journal. He is the author of several books on the tea ceremony, including Chado Nyumon Handobukku.

SENDO TANAKA was born in 1958, the eldest son of Sen'o Tanaka. After receiving a master degree in sociology from the University of Tokyo, he went abroad to study at Université Laval in Quebec. In 1988, he became vice president of the Dai Nihon Chado Gakkai and the following year became a lecturer at Nihon University. He now teaches the art of tea at the association and lectures at Keio University. He has published several works, including the book Usucha no Temae.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; Revised edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770025076
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770025074
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This bood is a fairly good intro to the Japanese tea ceremony for the absolute neophyte. Covering history, gardening and a very basic overview of the utensils and ceremony. For anyone wishing to know more about the actual procedures of the ceremony, the book falls short (however, I'm not aware of any books widely available that do a good job of explaining these procedures). As tea ceremony is best learned under the tutalage of an instructor, anyone more serious about tea would do best to seek out a teacher.
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Format: Paperback
Readers enter this book as if a guest at a tea ceremony itself. The experience begins with admiring the cover, the letters almost an abstract composition on the subtly pale gold, the figure of a kneeling lady in a kimono shaded like a cherry petal, left hand supporting the celedon incense cup, right covering it, gazing down. We are invited to enjoy this quiet beauty, then turn to the opening pages.

On the left page, an extraordinarily skillful photograph showing textures & shadings: a single pink hibiscus, with yellow stamens arising from the cup, against the green star-galaxy of a moss garden, the lichened tree trunk aligned with the blossom, the blossom placed at the verge of moss and brown forest floor. Pause: feel the coolness, hear the faint sound of water, of leaves barely moving.

"The Tea Ceremony," published in 1977 by Harmony Books, can be in itself an exemplar of the art, values, and aesthetic of this ceremony. Like a No play, the ceremony has ancient roots. It intentionally moves slowly, permitting fullest admiration of each exquisite presentation in what Edwin Reischauer in his Foreword calls a different space and time.

Reischauer's Foreword, three wise pages on what a Westerner might experience and needs to be diffident about, is followed by Yasushi Inoue's three page preface bringing us closer to the significance of the ceremony in Japanese culture, and by author Sen'o Tanaka's two page poem-prose on the integration of Takeshi Nishikawa's photographs and the text.

"I always," Tanaka writes, "feel a joyous beating in my heart on seeing the greenness of the moss glistening in the rain, and I feel as though my heart and soul have been washed clean, like the moss.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A few years back I participated in a tea ceremony in Japan as a tourist with little idea of what was going on besides that it was cool and elegant. Reading this book filled in for me what I missed -- and it was a lot. This is a wonderful introduction to that most Japanese of ceremonies.
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The book was delivered in terrific condition. It was sent on time. The Tea Ceremony provides a terrific explanation of how a tea ceremony is performed and the utensils used.
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