The Book of Tea
This exploration of the Japanese tea ceremony is “a fascinating exposition of Japanese culture and the country’s relationship to the west” (The Guardian).
Written in 1906 by “a pivotal figure in trying to make sense out of the clash between Western innovation in Japan and Oriental tradition . . . [The Book of Tea] “presents a unified concept of life, art and nature [and explores] topics related to tea appreciation, including Zen, flower arranging and Taoism” (The Japan Times).
The Book of Tea captivated poets including T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, and illustrates how the philosophy of Teaism raises tea above the status of mere beverage to cultural touchstone, melding ethics and religion, simplicity and egalitarianism, nature and humanity. It is a way of life and a path toward enlightenment that has stood the test of time over centuries.