The Book of Tea

From SamuraiWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzô was published in English in 1906 as the first book to introduce Japanese tea culture to Western readers. It remains widely sold and profoundly influential today.

The book asserts a fundamental dichotomy between Japanese culture and Western aesthetics, and asserts that while all Japanese understand tea intuitively, whether they practice tea or not - because the aesthetics of tea, Okakura suggests, are infused into Japanese life - Westerners cannot be expected to ever truly understand it.

The book was published in Japanese translation in 1929, providing for Japanese readers something of a primer on how to explain tea to Westerners.


  • Rebecca Corbett, Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan, University of Hawaii Press (2018), 193.