The Book of Tea (1906) by Okakura Kakuzo has long become a classic. Its title notwithstanding, the book is not a manual on tea. Rather it is an essay, better a hymn, to culture, aesthetics and the spirit of tea as a symbol, a paradigm, of the Asian soul. It was created by a passionate Japanese scholar whose life was devoted to renew and spread the values of the East in the same moment in which his own country seemed to deny them in order to embrace Western culture.
This new edition has an important apparatus of over 200 notes to explain the contents of the book and supply all the information needed to understand it fully (concepts of Eastern philosophy, history, geography, biographical information), something that so far has never been done. It also contains an important essay by Giancarlo Calza on Okakura and his role to foster intercultural understanding and the development of spirituality through the aesthetics and practice of the tea ceremony as a style of life. Contents: The Cup of Humanity; The Schools of Tea; Taoism and Zennism; The Tea-room; Art Appreciation; Flowers; Tea-masters; Okakura: A Life in Style by Giancarlo Calza.