Kakuzo Okakura, who used to be recognized in the USA as a pupil, paintings critic, and Curator of chinese language and eastern paintings on the Boston Museum of good Arts, directed nearly his complete grownup existence towards the maintenance and reawakening of the japanese nationwide historical past — in paintings, ethics, social customs, and different components of lifestyles — within the face of the Westernizing impacts that have been revolutionizing Japan round the flip of the century.
This smooth vintage is basically an apology for jap traditions and emotions to the Western global — no longer in passionate, oversentimental phrases, yet with a attraction and underlying durability which truly point out a few of the enduring ameliorations among the japanese and Western brain. Okakura indicates the particular "personality" of the East during the philosophy of Teaism and the traditional jap tea rite. This rite is very revelatory of a conservative pressure in eastern tradition; its beliefs of aesthetic tranquility and submission to the methods of the prior locate no parallel within the significant cultural motifs of the West.
Not purely does he speak about the tea rite and its inflexible formalities, and the cult and styles of trust surrounding tea and tea-drinking, yet Okakura additionally considers non secular impacts, origins, and historical past, and is going into the significance of flora and flower displays in jap lifestyles — their right appreciation and cultivation, nice tea-masters of the earlier, the tea-room with its air of serenity and purity, and the classy and quasi-religious values pervading some of these actions and attitudes.
Okakura's English kind was once sleek, but exceedingly transparent and distinct, and this publication is likely one of the most pleasurable essay-volumes to the English language. It has brought thousands of yank readers to eastern pondering and traditions. This new, corrected variation, entire with an illuminating initial essay on Okakura's existence and paintings, will offer an engrossing account for an individual attracted to the present and critical topics of Oriental life.