tea is a work of art
Post #471 • February 7, 2005, 7:12 AM • 31 Comments
Okakura Kakuzo, The Book of Tea, 1906:
Tea is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its noblest qualitiies. We have god and bad tea, as we have good and bad paintings - generally the latter. There is no single recipe for making the perfect tea, as there are no rules for producing a Titian or a Sesson. Each preparation of the leaves has its individuality, its special affinity with with water and heat, its hereditary memories to recall, its own method of telling a story. The truly beautiful must be always in it. How much do we not suffer through the constant failure of society to recognise this simple and fundamental law of art and life; Lichihlai, a Sung poet, has sadly remarked that there were three most deplorable things in the world: the spoiling of fine youths through false education, the degradation of fine paintings through vulgar admiration, and the utter waste of fine tea through incompetent manipulation.