Rigidity, Formality, and The Book of Tea

Dusting off my old copy of Okakura Kakuzo’s Book of Tea, which I haven’t read for more than a decade (before my time in Japan), I found this quote in Liza Dalby’s introduction, talking about her training in Japanese tea ceremony:

American culture has traditionally stressed the Romantic notion that form and structure are things to be thrown off to discover the pure artistic soul beneath. In contrast, the idea that deep artistic freedom can lie within rigidly structured form is one of the most important lessons I have learned in my life, and I am grateful that I found it at an early age, in tea.

A wonderful quote that I completely understand. Though, instead of tea, this statement beautifully described why it took me learning the shamisen and shakuhachi in Japan to really appreciate the music of J.S. Bach.

…and why I love these guys so much:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Event Calendar

July 2014
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031EC

Upcoming Events

  • No events.
A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.

-Dmitri Shostakovich