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The Book of Tea by [Okakura Kakuzo]
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The Book of Tea Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,381 ratings

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Kindle, April 21, 2020
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

That a nation should construct one of its most resonant national ceremonies round a cup of tea will surely strike a chord of sympathy with at least some readers of this review. To many foreigners, nothing is so quintessentially Japanese as the tea ceremony--more properly, "the way of tea"--with its austerity, its extravagantly minimalist stylization, and its concentration of extreme subtleties of meaning into the simplest of actions. The Book of Tea is something of a curiosity: written in English by a Japanese scholar (and issued here in bilingual form), it was first published in 1906, in the wake of the naval victory over Russia with which Japan asserted its rapidly acquired status as a world-class military power. It was a peak moment of Westernization within Japan. Clearly, behind the publication was an agenda, or at least a mission to explain. Around its account of the ceremony, The Book of Tea folds an explication of the philosophy, first Taoist, later Zen Buddhist, that informs its oblique celebration of simplicity and directness--what Okakura calls, in a telling phrase, "moral geometry." And the ceremony itself? Its greatest practitioners have always been philosophers, but also artists, connoisseurs, collectors, gardeners, calligraphers, gourmets, flower arrangers. The greatest of them, Sen Rikyu, left a teasingly, maddeningly simple set of rules:
Make a delicious bowl of tea; lay the charcoal so that it heats the water; arrange the flowers as they are in the field; in summer suggest coolness; in winter, warmth; do everything ahead of time; prepare for rain; and give those with whom you find yourself every consideration.
A disciple remarked that this seemed elementary. Rikyu replied, "Then if you can host a tea gathering without deviating from any of the rules I have just stated, I will become your disciple." A Zen reply. Fascinating. --Robin Davidson, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From the Inside Flap

This modern classic invites the reader to discover a unique tradition that has come to symbolize the wisdom, beauty, and the elegant simplicity of Asian culture. The author celebrates the Way of Tea from its ancient origins in Chinese Taoism to its culmination in the Zen discipline known as the Japanese tea ceremony?an enchanting practice bringing together such arts as architecture, pottery, and flower arranging to create an experience that delights the senses, calms the mind, and refreshes the spirit. Tea was first used as a medicine and an alchemical elixir by the ancient Chinese Taoists, who praised its spiritual powers. Buddhist monks made drinking tea part of a tradition honoring the founder of Zen; this ritual was later refined in the performance of the Japanese tea ceremony as a meditative practice. The Book of Tea describes the rich aesthetic of Asian culture through the history, philosophy, and practice of brewing and drinking tea.
This edition contains an introduction by Sam Hamill that provides historical insight into the significance of the tea ceremony within Zen Buddhism. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08748P6TS
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Open Road Media (April 21, 2020)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ April 21, 2020
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2379 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 34 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 1,381 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
1,381 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2017
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16 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

Ubik
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic enlightening book, but poor Penguin print quality (2010 edition).
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2016
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10 people found this helpful
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r lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars despite its anachronisms, an incredibly rich and poetic work
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2019
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One person found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars A testemony to the ills of mass production
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2015
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17 people found this helpful
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ThePhilosophicalBadger
4.0 out of 5 stars A very thoughtful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2021
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One person found this helpful
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Angelique Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for all things tea!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2020
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