Kakuzo Okakura
Tuttle, North Clarendon, VT, 1989; originally published 1906, English
Nonfiction, General
ISBN: 9780804832199

From the Publisher. In 1906 in turn-of-the century Boston, a small, esoteric book about tea was written with the intention of being read aloud in the famous salon of Isabella Stewart Gardner. It was authored by Kakuzo Okakura, a Japanese philosopher, art expert, and curator. Little known at the time, Kakuzo would emerge as one of the great thinkers of the early 20th century, a genius who was insightful, witty, and greatly responsible for bridging Western and Eastern cultures. Nearly a century later, The Book of Tea is still beloved the world over. Interwoven with a rich history of tea and its place in Japanese society is poignant commentary on Eastern culture and our ongoing fascination with it, as well as illuminating essays on art, spirituality, poetry, and more.


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Diana Balmori

I’ve used this book in undergraduate architecture seminars. I’ve presented the rules it gives for designing teahouse paths (rojis) as an example of guidelines for designing that do not promote imitation or a particular (in this case, Japanese) aesthetic. It is a brilliant way of establishing rules without dictating a particular style.

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