Quotes by Okakura Kakuzo

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Our mind is the canvas on which the artists lay their colour; their pigments are our emotions; their chiaroscuro the light of joy, the shadow of sadness. The masterpiece is of ourselves, as we are of the masterpiece. more...

In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends. more...

The art of today is that which really belongs to us: it is our own reflection. In condemning it we but condemn ourselves. more...

The canvas upon which the artist paints is the spectator's mind. more...

Tea is more than an idealization of the form of drinking; it is a religion of the art of life. more...

Tea is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its noblest qualities. We have good and bad teas, as we have good and bad paintings - generally the latter. more...

Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. more...

Those who cannot feel the littleness of great things in themselves are apt to overlook the greatness of little things in others. more...

In Japan, I took part in a tea ceremony. You go into a small room, tea is served, and that's it really, except that everything is done with so much ritual and ceremony that a banal daily event is transformed into a moment of communion with the universe. more...

It is not the accumulation of extraneous knowledge, but the realization of the self within, that constitutes true progress. more...

Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things. more...

The outsider may indeed wonder at this seeming much ado about nothing. What a tempest in a tea-cup! he will say. But when we consider how small after all the cup of human enjoyment is, how soon overflowed with tears, how easily drained to the dregs in our quenchless thirst for infinity, we shall not blame ourselves for making so much of the tea-cup. more...

In the worship of Bacchus, we have sacrificed too freely.... Why not consecrate ourselves to the queen of the Camelias, and revel in the warm stream of sympathy that flows from her altar? In the liquid amber within the ivory-porcelain, the initiated may touch the sweet reticence of Confucius... more...

Fain would we remain barbarians, if our claim to civilization were to be based on the gruesome glory of war. more...

We take refuge in pride, because we are afraid to tell the truth to ourselves. more...

A man without tea in him is incapable of understanding truth and beauty. more...

True beauty could be discovered only by one who mentally complete the incomplete. more...

Translation is always a treason, and as a Ming author observes, can at its best be only the reverse side of a brocade- all the threads are there, but not the subtlety of colour or design. more...

Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things. more...

Perfection is everywhere if we only choose to recognise it. more...

The ancient sages never put their teachings in a systematic form. They spoke in paradoxes, for they were afraid of uttering half-truths. They began by talking like fools and ended by making their hearers wise. more...

For life is an expression, our unconscious actions the constant betrayal of our innermost thought. Perhaps we reveal ourselves too much in small things because we have so little of the great to conceal. The tiny incidents of daily rouitine are as much a commentary of racial ideas as the highest flight of philosophy or poetry. more...

Cares melt when you kneel in your garden. more...

A garden is a friend you can visit any time. more...

Friends are flowers in life's garden. more...

The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings. more...

The Philosophy of Tea is not mere aestheticism ... for it expresses conjointly with ethics and religion our whole point of view about man and nature. It is hygiene, for it enforces cleanliness; it is economics, for it shows comfort in simplicity rather than in the complex and costly; it is moral geometry, inasmuch as it defines our sense of proportion to the universe. more...

Tea with us became more than an idealisation of the form of drinking; it is a religion of the art of life. The beverage grew to be an excuse for the worship of purity and refinement, a sacred function at which the host and guest joined to produce for that occasion the utmost beatitude of the mundane. more...

The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings. more...

Tea... is a religion of the art of life. more...

Tea...is a religion of the art of life. more...

Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. more...


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