Japanese Tea Books

Japanese Tea Books curated collection by Katherine Bellman

   I have always loved a good book as I sip my tea. The books I would love to introduce you all to are all Japanese Tea themed in nature. Japanese tea and literature has always given me the feeling of a meditation, calmness and serenity. I hope these books give you the same peace as it does for me.

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Japanese Tea Books curated collection by Katherine BellmanThe Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura- Written in 1906, I found Okakura enlightening and gave a unique perspective of the time. He was brought up in Japan then was given a thorough Western education as opposed to the traditions of his own culture.  He then connects with the traditions and allows us to see and understand the traditions and his opinion of the changes in Japan at the time. Western education had become a priority households and traditions were left behind, this reminds me of  the many cultures around us. I am a big history fan, especially with tea and Japan, this book was very moving when he connects the development of tea to the development of art. Two of my favourite things in life together.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tea Life , Tea Mind is written by the former Iemoto of Urasenke. Iemoto is like a father or head teacher of the tea school. He inspired me through his words in this book. He urges us to not only learn about tea but to live it through our daily life. By recalling memories from his life and tales from the life of Sen Rikyu’s Grandson, Sen Soutan. With these stories he breaks them down from their Zen parable like wording to make the reader feel on the same level as him. This book inspired me to focus on the four virtues of Sen Rikyu. Wa (Harmony), Ka(Respect), Sei (Purty) and Jaku (Tranquility). I plan to get each character written down my back as I understand them through tea.                                                                                                                                                                                               The Simplest way of Japanese Tea Ceremony- Japanese Tea Ceremony can seem overwhelming but it does not need to be. This book comes with a DVD video to help you see the steps to making matcha in a very simple way. It takes the bare bones and allows anyone to prepare matcha in no time. I added this one to my collection as it is written in both Japanese and English for all text, it helps me recognize which kanji are for tea and learn Japanese from a unique angle.                                                                                                                                     The One Taste of Truth caught my eye while looking through the Philosophy section at Chapters. One could say that it should have been in the religion section as it deconstructs Dao and Zen proverbs throughout history. As both followings are very philosophical and dense, I will admit it is hard for me to follow the most of the stories with in the book. Although I hope that returning to it again after gaining some wisdom through life will allow me to read it with a new perspective in the future.

 Most books can be purchased through Chapters or Amazon, with exception of  The Simplest Way of Japanese Tea Ceremony. This one I obtained from Karen Hartwick of Stratford Tea Leaves. 

   All books are my own and were purchased to further my education of Tea and the traditions behind it.

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26th year of life

    I quickly wrote this out and wanted to have it posted so I can never go back on my own word. I wanted to share this with everyone as well as it may interest you or spark your own little life goal as well.

“It is the eve of my 26th birthday. My gift to myself is going to be tea. You are going to think I am crazy but hear me out.  I already have tea, I drink it and enjoy it. Although for the last few months I have lost my passion for it.  On the way home I was reading a book by a Urasenke master and he described how tea is a way of life. I had already learned about this from many books before but it just seemed more fresh from his written words.

    Chanoyu or The Way of Tea is a way of life. Everything in the tea room relates back to life itself. The four virtues are very important, especially now in such a technological society. What I am trying to explain is that I want to live by these virtues.

  Over the next 4 years I will be focusing on one virtue at a time, while learning and striving to live by them all. But by focusing on one at time for a years length I can truly live through tea.

   To devote myself I am going to post these virtues at my home, my work and eventually tattoo (one at a time) on my body; as reminders of how important these are to my daily life. I have been such a scatter brain, over spender; thoughtless, unforgiving, unloving etc the list is endless. I wish to be a true human being through tea with use of these virtues.

  I depart for a work/vacation and will keep these virtues close to my heart each day of the two weeks. But as of now I will live as I have wanted to. I am taking back tea which I lost and bringing it back in to my life as I once had.

    Ichi no Ichi- I cannot let a moment pass by without realizing how important each moment is.”

Below is a link to information on these virtues:

Tea Ceremony:

‘via Blog this’