This is Akemi Sagawa's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Akemi Sagawa's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Akemi Sagawa
Recent Activity
I started this blog for the purpose of promoting Japan's traditional arts and crafts, because many of them are at the verge of extinction. "The only way for them to survive is to raise awareness and create demand among people living outside of Japan," so I thought. Well, the more... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Just as Oscar Yonker, the founder of Bonsai Empire, was fascinated by bonsai when he was 15 years old, Ryan Neil was only 14 years old when his spirit was captured by bonsai. Determined to become a bonsai professional, Ryan apprenticed under the bonsai master Masahiko Kimura for 6 years... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
When I was little, my parents used to have close t... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Also present at Japan Fair was Puget Sound Bonsai Association. I had a chance to chat with Edd Kuehn, the president of the organization. What exactly makes it bonsai? "Bonsai is a horticultural art that takes many forms to create living, sculpted representations of trees in miniature form. Bonsai is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Here is the answer to yesterday's quiz! Ikenobo's traditional style is distinct in its shape of branches and a container. Sogetsu School tends to have much modern styles. And this variety in styles is which makes Ikebana all the more interesting! 1. Sogetsu 2. Ikenobo 3. Sogetsu 4. Ikenobo Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
The Japan Fair was held today in Seattle, and Ikebana International Seattle Chapter #19 displayed several flower arrangements. Of those arrangements below, some are Ikenobo School and others are Sogetsu School arrangements. Can you guess which is which? 1. 2. 3. 4. Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
From August 10 till yesterday I introduced Kakuzo Okakura's "The Book of Tea" in my blog. After over hundred years since it was written, his words still clearly depict what Teaism (as he calls it) is and its relation to Taoism and Zen. Enough for reading what it is. Why... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Over a hundred years ago Kakuzo Okakura already pointed out the importance of having a tea room as his/her sanctuary. In this digital age, do we not need the tea room more than ever? In the tea-room the fear of repetition is a constant presence. The various objects for the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
The "Abode of the Unsymmetrical" suggests another phase of our decorative scheme. The absence of symmetry in Japanese art objects has been often commented on by Western critics. This, also, is a result of a working out through Zennism of Taoist ideals. Confucianism, with its deep-seated idea of dualism, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Over a hundred years ago, Kakuzo Okakura must have observed a huge contrast between the elaborate decoration of the Western rooms and the simplicity of Japan's tea room. Below is the depiction in his own words. The term, Abode of Vacancy, besides conveying the Taoist theory of the all-containing, involves... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Cleaning is one of important parts of life for a zen monk, as well as for a tea master. It is often said that the process of cleaning a space and an object signifies the cleaning of one's spirit. Here Okakura introduces a famous episode of Senno Rikyu and how... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Zen monks were avid practitioner of Teaism, so were samurais in Japan's civil war period in the 16th century. Below describes how samurais used to approach Teaism. Thus prepared the guest will silently approach the sanctuary, and, if a samurai, will leave his sword on the rack beneath the eaves,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Again the roji, the garden path which leads from the machiai to the tea-room, signified the first stage of meditation—the passage into self-illumination. The roji was intended to break connection with the outside world, and produce a fresh sensation conducive to the full enjoyment of aestheticism in the tea-room itself.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
The most typical tea room is a square, four and a half tatami mat room. Kakuzo Okakura explains how Zen spirit is reflected in the square tea room. The simplicity and purism of the tea-room resulted from emulation of the Zen monastery. A Zen monastery differs from those of other... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
In the fourth chapter of his book The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura describes the significance of a tea room, where Teaism is performed. Since Okakura wrote this book 110 years ago, Japan's architecture and its simplistic style has become better known to the western world. His description about tea... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
A special contribution of Zen to Eastern thought was its recognition of the mundane as of equal importance with the spiritual. It held that in the great relation of things there was no distinction of small and great, an atom possessing equal possibilities with the universe. The seeker for perfection... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
The Taoists claimed that the comedy of life could be made more interesting if everyone would preserve the unities. To keep the proportion of things and give place to others without losing one's own position was the secret of success in the mundane drama. We must know the whole play... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
In the third chapter of his book The Book of Tea, ... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
It is in the Japanese tea ceremony that we see the culmination of tea-ideals. Our successful resistance of the Mongol invasion in 1281 had enabled us to carry on the Sung movement so disastrously cut off in China itself through the nomadic inroad. Tea with us became more than an... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Japan, which followed closely on the footsteps of Chinese civilization, has known the tea in all its three stages. As early as the year 729 we read of the Emperor Shomu giving tea to one hundred monks at his palace in Nara. The leaves were probably imported by our ambassadors... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
Unfortunately the sudden outburst of the Mongol tribes in the thirteenth century which resulted in the devastation and conquest of China under the barbaric rule of the Yuen Emperors, destroyed all the fruits of Sung culture. The native dynasty of the Mings which attempted re-nationalization in the middle of the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
In the Sung dynasty the whipped tea came into fashion and created the second school of Tea. The leaves were ground to fine powder in a small stone mill, and the preparation was whipped in hot water by a delicate whisk made of split bamboo. The new process led to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
It needed the genius of the Tang dynasty to emancipate Tea from its crude state and lead to its final idealization. With Luwuh in the middle of the eighth century we have our first apostle of tea. He was born in an age when Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism were seeking... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
The tea-plant, a native of southern China, was known from very early times to Chinese botany and medicine. It is alluded to in the classics under the various names of Tou, Tseh, Chung, Kha, and Ming, and was highly prized for possessing the virtues of relieving fatigue, delighting the soul,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Akemi's Blog
In the second chapter of The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura describes the evolution of how tea is enjoyed: the Boiled Tea, the Whipped Tea, and the Steeped Tea. Okakura appropriately compares the evolution of tea to that of art: the Classic, the Romantic, and the Naturalistic schools of tea.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Akemi's Blog