Books on the Japanese Tea Ceremony
The following books are the most popular among beginning and advanced students of the Tea Ceremony. Also for those who are not particularly interested in the Japanese tea ceremony, these books will give those who have a general interest in the Japanese culture lots of fascinating eye-openers with lots of information on the Japanese culture. Since the tea ceremony involves many other forms of Japanese arts such as calligraphy, flower arrangement, ceramics, and the wearing of traditional Japanese clothes the Kimono and the Hakama, it is useful to read a book on the tea ceremony for everyone living in Japan or studying about Japan.
|Chado, The Way of Tea: A Japanese Tea Master’s Almanac, by Sasaki Sanmi|
This opulent and encyclopedic volume presents the first translation of a Japanese tea master’s saijiki into English. The book has a chapter for each month of the year, as well as some introductory material that includes glossaries of names and terms. Each monthly chapter contains the following nine sections: Chashu (Features of the Month), Gyôji (Events of the Month), Kishin (Memorial Days), Chabana (Flowers for Tea), Kashi (Cakes), Kaiseki (Meals for Tea), Shokumi (Foods for the Month), Kigo (Words for the Month), and Meisû (Single Items). For haiku poets, the Kigo section will probably be of most interest. There are also fifty-seven pages of appendices, with tables of such things as "Monthly Names for Water" and "Names of Monthly Trees."
|The Japanese Tea Ceremony, by: Seno Tanaka
The Japanese tea ceremony, or cha-no-yu, is one of the last vestiges of an older, gentler era. Today, it resonates as a metaphor for ancient Japanese society.
|CHA-NO-YU, Japanese Tea Ceremony, by: A. L. Sadler
* Descriptions of the many disciplines contained within the broader framework
of Cha-no-yu, including art, architecture, gardening, and exquisite handicrafts.
|The Book Of Tea, by: Kakuzo Okakura|
The Book of Tea has served for more than a century as one of the most perceptive
introductions to Asian life and thought in English. Publication of the
book was a pioneering effort in the cultural bridge-building between East
and West. Kakuzo Okakura perceived chanoyu-literally, "the way of tea"-as
a form of spiritual culture, a discipline that transforms itself into the
Art of Life. In writing of chanoyu, his concern was the broad current of
Asian culture flowing eastward from India, and its potential contribution
to the culture of all humankind. Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, and Chinese and
Japanese aesthetics are discussed, giving voice to traditional Asian values
and ideals that had been little recognized in the West. Thus, he sought
to convey the spirit of chanoyu as a crystallization of the cultural life
of the East.
|Tea Life, Tea Mind by: Soshitsu Sen|
This 15th-generation tea master from Japan has a universal message that he takes everywhere he travels. The message is simple: if people can sit together and have a bowl of tea, they can resolve conflicts, mend discords and learn to live with each other. Who could not agree with this powerful message?
|Rediscovering Rikyu, by: Herbert Plutschow
The Japanese approach to Tea and the Tea Ceremony itself has always fascinated Westerners and although there are several key historic works on the subject (including the celebrated Book of Tea and more recently, Chado: The Way of Tea) this is the first study to look at how the culture and politics of Tea in Japan actually began with Rikyu, the famous sixteenth-century master of tea. Although the author is leading US scholar in Japanese Studies, the book is sensitively written to appeal to a wider audience.
|The Japanese Way of Tea, by: Sen XV Soshitsu
It is certainly true that one of the most well-known elements of Japanese culture in Western countries is the art of Chanoyu. But it is doubtful that Westerners understand the quintessence of this very special Japanese art. Of course there are many Western publications even in German about this topic, but the explanations they provide are mostly insufficient. The typical Western observer sees Japanese culture, art, literature, music, etc., as exotic; this is especially true with the art of tea as it is an art form that is confined to a rigid frame of rituals. The "harmony" of the art form is of course widely known, but what is not widely known is that there is also the possibility of freedom within the art and that this freedom marks the highest degree of chanoyu. When the art form is described from a Western perspective, there is a strong tendency to use the word "ceremony," which implies that there is a fixed ritual in adoration or worship of something absolute or divine. Westerners seem to imagine "ceremony" as fixed in a strong religious order and rigorous ecclesiastical system from which it cannot be changed. This book illustrates the changes over many centuries and the flexibility interwoven in this art of making tea.
|Tea in Japan, by: Paul H. Varley
This book on Chanoyu is a collection of essays written on the history and the development of the Japanese tea ceremony. It takes us back to the beginning of drinking tea in the eight century, and from there leads us through various events and changes in the way tea was consumed in Japan. Lead by tea masters and important political figures of Japan, the Japanese tea ceremony was developed into an aesthetic past time for everyone to enjoy. Various scholars on Japanese history and some specialized in the Japanese tea ceremony came together in hawaii to discuss the various aspects such as Wabi, Sen no Rikyu, and important historical events. Together they have written various essays which are printed in this wonderful book.
|Chado: The Japanese Way of Tea, by: Sioshitsu Sen|
Well-written and well-illustrated, Chado briefly covers, Philosophy and History, while the majority of the book focuses on the more practical aspects of hospitality: gardens,teahouses, utensils, etiquette procedures for guest and host. Color and black and white photographs illustrate a variety of the utensils employed in Chado. Examples of scrolls, flower arrangements, and sweets accompany explanations of their use in conjunction with the seasons. Guest procedures for a standard tea gathering cover the invitation, appropriate attire, articles to be taken,arrival, the meal, viewing the arranging of the charcoal,intermission, thick tea, thin tea, and departure. The final chapter contains a detailed explanation of procedures called "wari geiko." Whether or not the reader is just beginning the study of tea, or an advanced student in need of a reference for review, This book comes highly recommend.
|Tea and Buddhism. Chado: The Way of Tea as a Buddhist Path|
Based on his own experiences and training in the Way of Tea and Buddhism in Japan, the author takes us on a fascinating journey through a spiritually and academically thoughtful text and more than 30 beautiful photographs.
Books related to the Tea Ceremony
As mentioned before, the tea ceremony compells more than just the preparation of Matcha green tea. The host must study a wide range of traditional arts to serve the most enjoyable bowl of tea to the guests. A student of the tea ceremony will devote his or her entire life to studying many details of the Japanese traditional arts. I have tried to collect some book titles here which introduce various Japanese arts for further reading.