Monday, November 10, 2008

Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

This is a beautiful book, first published in 1906.

'Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday life' p3

The book describes the history of tea, it's origination's in China and it's adoption in Japan with the rise of the Japanese Tea Houses.
How in the 4th & 5th centuries CE 'leaves were steamed, crushed ina mortar, made into a cake, and boiled together with rice, ginger, salt, orange peel, spices, milk, and sometimes even onions.' p23
In those days you had the choice of this teacake, powdered tea, or seeped leaves, the latter being todays prefered method of choice!

The book goes onto tell us how the Japanese Tea Ceremony arose from Zen Buddhist rituals, and describes the art and beauty associated with the ceremony.

A lovely book. Beautifully written. Simple and delightful as a well made cup of tea itself.

1 comment:

Bellezza said...

I've always wanted to see a Japanese tea ceremony. I come from a long line of tea "enjoyers"; although they are in the tradition of the British high tea, this book sounds like it would be a good gift for my mother and aunt.