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Kwaidan Book Club: August (The Book of Tea)

  • Sun, August 13, 2017
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop

"Tea ... is a religion of the art of life." ― Okakura Kakuzō, The Book of Tea

For the month of August, we will be reading and discussing "The Book of Tea" by Okakura Kakuzō. 

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 Gardner, Boston's most famous socialite. It was authored by Okakura Kakuzō, a Japanese philosopher, art expert, and curator. Little known at the time, Okakura 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. (From Goodreads)

*Please help support Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop by ordering your copy through them. Make sure to mention that it is for the Kwaidan Book Club (Japan Society of New Orleans's Book Club) for a special discount!


ABOUT THE BOOK
In this classic, a renowned scholar explains some of the enduring differences between the Eastern and Western minds in terms of the ancient Japanese tea ceremony. Okakura Kakuzō discusses the ritual's formalities and beliefs as well as its origins and history, the importance of floral arrangement in Japanese life, and related aesthetic and religious values. (From the 2010 Dover Edition)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Okakura Kakuzō, who was known in America as a scholar, art critic, and Curator of Chinese and Japanese Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, directed almost his entire adult life toward the preservation and reawakening of the Japanese national heritage — in art, ethics, social customs, and other areas of life — in the face of the Westernizing influences that were revolutionizing Japan around the turn of the century. (From Amazon)

Okakura Kakuzō (岡倉覚三), also known as Okakura Tenshin (岡倉 天心), was a Japanese scholar who contributed the development of arts in Japan. Outside Japan, he is chiefly remembered today as the author of 'The Book of Tea'. Born in Yokohama to parents originally from Fukui, Okakura learned English while attending a school operated by Christian missionary, Dr. Curtis Hepburn. At 15, he entered Tokyo Imperial University, where he first met and studied under Harvard-educated professor Ernest Fenollosa. In 1889, Okakura co-founded the periodical Kokka. A year later he was one of the principal founders of the first Japanese fine-arts academy, the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (東京美術学校 Tōkyō Bijutsu Gakkō), and a year later became its head, although he was later ousted from the school in an administrative struggle. Later, he also founded the Japan Art Institute with Hashimoto Gahō and Yokoyama Taikan. He was invited by William Sturgis Bigelow to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1904 and became the first head of the Asian art division in 1910. (From Goodreads)

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