The Book of Tea - Kakuzo Okakura - Страница 1 из 70

By Kakuzo Okakura
I. The Cup of Humanity
Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China, in the
eighth century, it entered the realm of poetry as one of the polite
amusements. The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion
of aestheticism--Teaism. 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.
The Philosophy of Tea is not mere aestheticism in the ordinary
acceptance of the term, for it expresses conjointly with ethics and
religion our whole point of view about man and nature. It is hygiene,
for it enforces cleanliness; it is economics, for it shows comfort in
simplicity rather than in the complex and costly; it is moral geometry,
inasmuch as it defines our sense of proportion to the universe. It
represents the true spirit of Eastern democracy by making all its
votaries aristocrats in taste.
The long isolation of Japan from the rest of the world, so conducive to
introspection, has been highly favourable to the development of
Teaism. Our home and habits, costume and cuisine, porcelain, lacquer,
painting--our very literature--all have been subject to its influence.
No student of Japanese culture could ever ignore its presence. It has
permeated the elegance of noble boudoirs, and entered the abode of

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