The Book of Tea.
"Teaism inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life": First edition of The Book of Tea; inscribed by Okakura-Kakuzo
The Book of Tea.
Item Number: 110230
New York: Fox Duffield & Company, 1906.
First edition of this classic work. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “Percy MacKaye Your humble acquaintance Kakuzo Okadura.” With the inscription written in Japanese script. In near fine condition.
Addressed to a western audience, it was originally written in English and is one of the great English tea classics. Okakura had been taught at a young age to speak English and was proficient at communicating his thoughts to the Western mind. In his book, he discusses such topics as Zen and Taoism, but also the secular aspects of tea and Japanese life. The book emphasizes how Teaism taught the Japanese many things; most importantly, simplicity. Kakuzō argues that this tea-induced simplicity affected art and architecture, and he was a long-time student of the visual arts. In the book, Kakuzō states that Teaism, in itself, is one of the profound universal remedies that two parties could sit down to. Kakuzō went on to mention that tea has been the subject of many historical events, such as peace treaties and the like. He ends the book with a chapter on Tea Masters, and spends some time talking about Sen no Rikyū and his contribution to the Japanese tea ceremony.