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By Tim Cross

This frightening new learn of the japanese tea rite (chanoyu) examines the ideological starting place of its position in heritage and the wider context of eastern cultural values the place it has emerged as a so referred to as 'quintessential' component to the tradition. It used to be in truth, Sen Soshitsu Xl, grandmaster of Urasenke, this present day the main globally renowned tea tuition, who argued in 1872 that tea may be seen because the expression of the ethical universe of the state. A practicing teamaster himself, the writer argues, even if, that tea was once many different issues: it used to be privilege, politics, strength and the lever for ardour and dedication within the theatre of warfare. via a methodological framework rooted in present ways, he demonstrates how the enduring photographs as supposedly undying examples of jap culture were the topic of manipulation as ideological instruments and speaks to displays of cultural id in eastern society this present day.

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The mechanics of this taut ritual relies on an elevation of everyday materials and manners. The semantic fields of spirit, rigour and symbolic reversals combine to sacramentalize tea, transporting us from our everyday to the otherworldly integrations of tea. The previous account of Hakata tea pleasures presents tea as social, aesthetic and spiritual. Tea also functions in Japanese society as cultural capital and other embodied forms of knowledge. The delight of these Hakata tea moments is located at the nexus of local identity and national culture, and these tea routines are wholesome ways of structuring weekly, seasonal and annual routines.

Ruling elites tempered this rhetoric with the implied promise of vernal rebirth in the eternal edifice of the nation. Cherry blossoms, symbol of peace and war,47 advocate the inevitability of individual obliteration as nation-building. ’49 It is important to note the existence of Jien’s poem more than 600 years before provisions of the 1908 Army Criminal Code that awarded the death penalty to any ‘commander who allows his unit to surrender to the enemy without fighting to the last man or who concedes a strategic area to the enemy’,50 and to contrast this martial image of the national spirit with Sassa’s 1911 idealized, almost pacifist, aesthetes.

The following chapters address certain ideological subtexts of tea by positioning tea-room pleasures as being framed by various forms of power and authority. The keywords of subjectivity, transience and national identity are applied to that literary culture indexed by tea’s seasonal references. The manner in which tea practices are taught in the grand master model of cultural transmission is examined in terms of how tea invokes and sustains the idea of a distinctive Japanese national culture. Two films that depict Sen no Rikyu# are examined in terms of this lethal discourse of transience and how they comment on sixteen generations of institutionalized tea pedagogy.

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