Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.111

The Contributions of The Tea-masters to Art

 『 Manifold indeed have been the contributions of the tea-masters to art.

They completely revolutionised the classical architecture and interior decorations, and established the new style which we have described in the chapter of the tea-room, a style to whose influence even the palaces and monasteries built after the sixteenth century have all been subject.

The many-sided Kobori-Enshiu has left notable examples of his genius in the Imperial villa of Katsura, the castles of Nagoya and Nijo, and the monastery of Kohoan.

All the celebrated gardens of Japan were laid out by the tea-masters.

Our pottery would probably never have attained its high quority of excellence if the tea-masters had not lent to it their inspiration, the manufacture of the utensils used in the tea-ceremony calling forth the utmost expenditure of ingenuity on the part of our ceramists.

The Seven Kilns of Enshiu are well known to all students of Japanese pottery.

Many of our textile fabrics bear the names of tea-masters who conceived their colour or design.

It is impossible, indeed, to find any department of art in which the tea-masters have not left marks of their genius.

In painting and lacquer it seems almost superfluous to mention the immense sevice they have rendered.

One of the greatest schools of painting owes its origin to the tea-master Honnami-Koyetsu, famed also as a lacqer arist and potter.

Beside his works, the splendid creation of his grandson, Koho, and of his grand-nephews, Korin and Kenzan, almost fall into the shade.

The whole Korin school, as it is generally designated, is an expression of Teaism.

In the broad lines of this school we seem to find the vitality of nature herself. 』

(From the Book of Tea-Tea-Masters、p.110-112, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

The way of Tea is the culture of daily life.

It's mean how we enjoy our daily life includings philosophy and arts.

To enjoy the human life, we need house, foods and related goods and like to enjoy all kinds of arts .

We also ask to enjoy the nature collaborating to resonace with human being.

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Friday, August 12, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.110

To Those Who Long Only For Flowers, Fain Would I Show The Full-blown Spring Which Abides In The Toiling Buds Of Snow-covered Hills


In the religion the Future is behind us.

In art the Present is the eternal.

The tea-master held that real appreciation of art is only possible to those who make of it a living influence.

Thus they sought to regulate their daily life by the high standard of refinement which obtained in the tea-room.

In all circumstances serenity of mind should be maintained, and covesation should be so conducted as never to mar the harmony of the surroundings.

The cut and colour of the dress, the poise of the body, and the manner of walking could all be made expressions of artistic personality.

These were matters not to be lightly ignored, for until one has made himself beautiful he has no right to approach beauty.

Thus the tea-master stove to be something more than the artist, -art itself.

It was the Zen of aestheticism.

Perfection is everywhere if we only choose to recognise it.

Rikiu loved to quote an old poem which says: " To those who long only for flowers, fain would I show the full-blown spring which abides in the toiling buds of snow-covered hills. "

(From the Book of Tea-Tea-masters, p.109-110, Charles E. Tuttles Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

Finaly, we are now final session.

We learn how Tea-masters contribute to not only for tea-ceremony.

We have to realize " It's not only to Art, but to The total way of life.

Let's learn the Eternal way of Artistic life through the way of tea-drinking.

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Picture: Katashi Oyama Works
Image Designer: Izumi Mori

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Glocal Book:"The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzou(Tenshin)-No.109

The Full Significance of The Flower Sacrifice

Flower stories are endless.

We shall recount but one more.

In the sixteenth century the morning-glory was as yet a rare plant with us.

Rikuiu had an entire garden planted with it, which he cultivated with assiduous care.

The fame of his convolvuli reached the ear of the Taiko, and he expressed a desire to see them, in cosequence of which Rikiu invited him to a morning tea at his house.

On the appointed day the Taiko walked through the garden, but nowhere could he see any vesige of the convolvulus.

The ground had been leveled and strewn with fine pebbles and sand.

With sullen anger the despot entered the tea-room, but a sight waited him there which completely restored his humour.

On the tokonoma,in a rare bronze of Sung workmanship, in a single morning-glory----the queen of the whole garden!

In such instances we see the full significance of the Flower Sacrifice.

Perhaps the flowers appreciated the full significance of it.

They are not cowards, like men.

Some flowers glory in death-certainly the Japanese cherry blossomes do, as they freely surrender themselves to the winds.

Anyone who has stood before the fragrant avalanche at Toshino or Arasyhiyama must have realised this.

For a moment they hover like bejewelled clouds and dance above the crystal streams; then, as they sail away on the laughing waters, they seem to say: " Farewell, O Spring! We are on to Eternity."
(From The Book of Tea-Flowers, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan)

This is the last part of the " Flowers".

To me , it's very difficult to understand about the Flower arrangements.

Do you agree to "The Full Significance of The Flower Sacrifice" !!

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Image Designer: Izumi Mori