Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.108

The Flower-arrangement of The Tea-master; Art in Its Proper Setting on Account of Its True Intimacy with Life

Mt.Fuji by Katashi Oyama
Our personal sympathies are with the flower-arrangements of the tea-master rather than with those of the flower-master.

The fomer is art in its proper setting and appeals to us on account of its true intimacy with life.

We should like to call this school the Natural in contradiction to the Natural-esque and Formalistic schools.

The tea-master deems his duty ended with the selection of the flowers, and leaves them to tell their own story.

Entering a tea-room in late winter, you may see a slender spray of wild cherries in combination with budding camellia; it is an echo of departing winter coupled with the prophecy of spring.

Again, if you go into a noon-tea on some irritatinly hot summer day, you may discover in the darkended coolness of the tokonoma a single lily in a hanging vase; dripping with dew, it seems to smile at the foolishness of life.

A sole of flowers is interesting, but in a concerto with painting and sculpture the combination becomes entrancing.

Sekishiu once placed some water-plants in a flat receptacle to suggest the vegetation of lakes and marshes, and on the wall above he hung a painting by Soami of wild ducks flying in the air.

Shohs, another tea-master, combined a poem on the Beauty of Solitude by the Sea with a bronze incense burner in the form of the beath.

One of the guests has recorded that he felt in the whole composition the breath of waning autumn.
(The Book of Tea-Flowers, pp.105-106, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

The natural is the best Artistic expression itself.

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Picture: Mt.Fuji by Katashi Oyama
Image Designer: Izumi Mori

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.107

Any Flower Arrangement Referring to; The Leading Principle(Heaven), The Subordinate Principle(Earth), the Reconciling Principle(Man)

『 It would be interesting, had we time, to enter more fully than is now possible into the laws of composition and detail formulated by the various flower-masters of this period, showing, as they would, the fundamental theories which governed Tokugawa decoration.

We find them referring to the Leading Principle(Heaven), the Subordinate Principle(Earth), the Reconciling Principle(Man), and any flower arrangement which did not embody these principles was considered barren and dead.

They also dwelt much on the importance of treating a flower in its three different aspects, the Formal, the Semi-Formal, and the Formal.

The first might be said to repressent flowers in the stately costume of the ballroom, the second in the easy elegance of afternoon dress, the third in the charming deshabille of the boudoir.』
(The Book of Tea-FLower, pp.104-105,Chales E. Tuttle, Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

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Monday, July 18, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.106

The Adoration of the Flower for Its Own Sake Begins with the Rise of "Flower-Masters",
Toward the Middle of the Seventeenth Century

The adoration of the flower for its own sake begins with the rise of "Flower-Master," toward the middle of the seventeenth century.

It now becomes independent of the tea-room and knows no law save that the vase imposes on it.

New conceptions and methods of execution now become possible, and many were the principles and schools resulting therefrom.

A writer in the middle of the last century said he could count over one hundred different schhools of flower arrangement.

Brosdly speaking, these divided themselves into two main branches, the Formalistic and the Naturalesque.

The Formalistic schools, led by the Ikenobos, aimed at a classic idealism correspomding to that of the Kano-academicians.

We possess records of arrangements by the early masters of this school which almost reproduce the flower painting of Sansetsu and Tsunenobu.

The Naturalesque school, on the other hands, as its name implies, accepted nature as its model, only imposing such modificatins of form as conduced to the expression of artistic unity.

Thus we recognise in its works the same impulses which formed the Ukiyoe and Shijo schools of painting.
(From the Book of Tea-Flowers, Chales E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

It is interesting to know that the principles of schools and/or parties of the Flower arrangements are closely relating to the principles of Japanese-paintings.

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Picture: Katashi Oyama Work
Image Designer: Izumi Mori

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.105

The Birth of the Art of Flowers Arrangement Seems to Be with That of Teasim
in the Fifteenth Century

『The birth of the Art of Flower Arrangement seems to be simultaneous with that of Teaism in the fifteenth century.

Our legends ascribe the first flower arrangement to those early Buddist saints who gathered the flowers strewn by the storm and, in their infinite solicitude for all living things, placed them in vessels of water.

It is said that Soami, the great painter and connoisseur of the cout of Ashikaga-Yoshimasa, was one of the earliest adepts at it.

Juko, the tea-master, was one of his pupils, as was also Senno, the founder of the house of Ikenobo, a family as illustrious in the annals of flowers as was that of the Kanos in painting.

With the perfecting of the tea-ritual under Rikiu, in the latter part of the sixteenth century, flower arrangement also attains its full growth.

Rikiu and his successors, the celerated Oda-Wuraku, Furuta-Oribe, Koyetsu, Kobori-Enshiu, Katagiri-Sekishiu, vied with each other in forming new combinations.

We must remember, however, that the flower worship of the tea-master formed only a part of their aesthetic ritual, and was not a distinct religion by itseff.

A flower arrangement, like the other works of art in the tea-room, was subordinated to the total scheme of decoration.

Thus Sekishiu ordained that white plum blossoms should not be made use of when snow lay in the garden.

"Noisy" flowers were relentlessly banished from the tea-room.

A flower arrangement by a tea-master loses its significance if removed from the palace for which it was originally intended, for its lines and proportions have specislly worked out with a view to its surroundings. 』
(From the Book of Tea-Flowers, pp.101-103, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

This section tells us about the history of the art of flower arrangement.

We now understand the flower arrangement in teaism has the different meanings from the flower arrangements in general means.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.104

When the Flower Fades, the Master Tenderly Consigns It to the River or Carefully Buries It In the Ground

『When a tea-master has arranged a flower to his satisfaction he will place it on the tokonoma,the place of honour in a Japanese room.

Nothing else will be placed near it which interfere with its effect, not even a painting, unless there be some special aesthetic reason for the combination.

It rests there like an enthroned prince, and the guests or disciples on entering the room will salute it with a profound bow before making their addresses to the host.

Drawings from master-pieces are made and published for the edification of amateurs.

The amount of literatere on the subject is quite voluninous.

When the flower fades, the master tenderly consigns it to the river or carefully buries it in the ground.

Monuments even are sometimes erected ti their memory.』
(From the Book of Tea-Flowers, pp.100-101, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

At present days, I don't believe the most of the masters have such delicacies.

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Picture: Katashi Oyama Work
Image Designer: Izumi Mori

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.103

Present The Whole Beauty of Plant Life

『Why not destroy flowers if therby we can envolve new forms ennobling the world ideas?

We only ask them to join in our sacrifice to the beautiful.

We shall atone for the deed by consecrating ourselves to Purity and Simplicity.

Thus reasoned the tea-masters when they established the Cult of Flowers.

Anyone acquainted with the ways of our tea- and flower-masters must have noticed the religious venerarion with which they regard flowers.

They do not cull at random, but carefully select each branch or spray with an eye to the artstic composition they have in mind.

They would be ashemed should they chance to cut more than were absolutely necessary.

It may be remarked in this connection that they always associate the leaves, if there be any, with the flowers, for their object is to present the whole beauty of plant life.

In this respect, as in many others, their method differs from that pursued in Western countries.

Here we are apt to see only the flower stems, heads, as it were, without body, stuck
promiscuously into a vase. 』
(From the Book of Tea-Flowers, pp.98-100, Charles E. Tuttles Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

The critical differences of ideas against the attitude to Nature are clear through the Flower arrangements between Oriental and Western countries .

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Picture: Ktashi Oyama Works
Image Designer: Izumi Mori

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.102

Change Is The Only Eternal,-Why Not
As Welcome Death As Welcome as Life?

『 However, let us not too sentimental.

Let us be luxurius but more magnificent.

Said Laotose: "Heaven and rarth are pitiless."

Said Kobodaishi: "Flow, flow, flow, flow, the current of life is ever onward.

Die, die, die, die, death comes to all."

Destruction faces us wherever we turn.

Destruction below and above, destruction behind and before.

Change is the only Eternal,-Why not as welcome Death as Life?

They are but counterparts one of the other,-The Night and Day of Brahma.

Through the disintegration of the old, re-creation becomes possible.

We have worshipped Death, the relentless godness of mercy, under many different names.

It was the shadow of the All-devouring that the Gheburs greeted in the fire.

It is the icy purism of the sword-soul before which Shinto-Japan prostates herself even today.

The mystic fire consumes our weakness, the sacred sword cleaves the bondage of desire.

From our ashes springs the phoenix of ccelestial hope, out of the freedom comes a higher realism of manhood.』
(From the Book of Tea-Flowers, pp.98-99, Charles E. Tuttles Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

The acceptance of the philosophy of "Change is the only Eternal" is the most important fact of orietntal idea.

If you understand the idea, you will be able to find the oriental Eternity.

「From our ashes springs the phenix of celestial hope, out of the freedom comes a higher realisation of manhood.」

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Picture: Jikou by Katashi Oyama
Image Designer: Izumi Mori

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.101

Why Take The Plants From Their Homes &
Ask Them To Bloom Mid Stange Surroundings?

『Yet even in the case of pot flowers we are inclined to suspect the selfishness of man.

Why take the plants from their homes and ask them to bloom mid strange surroundings?

Is it not like asking the birds to sing and mate cooped in cages?

Who knows but that the orchids feel stifled by the artificial heat in your conservatories and hopelessly long for a glimpse of their own Southern skies?

The ideals lover of flowers is he who visits them in their native haunts, like Taoyuenming, who sat before a broken bamboo fence in converse with the wild chrysanthemum, or Linwosing, losing himself amid mysterious fragrance as he wandered in the twilight among the plum-blossoms of the Western Lake.

"Tis said that Chowmushih slept in a boat so that his dreams might mingle with those of the lotus.

It was this same spirit which moved the Empress Komio, one of our most renowned Nara sovereigns, as she sang: "If I plunk three, my hand will defile thee, O Flower!
Standindg in the meadows as thou art, I offer tree to the Buddhas of the past, of the future." 』
(From the Book of Tea-Flowers, pp.97-98, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland,Vermont,Tokyo,Japan)

I agree to enjoy flowers at natural surcumstances and enviroments as they are.

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Picture: Katashi Oyama Work
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