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東京美術学校を創設した岡倉天心は、晩年にアメリカのボストン美術館で東洋部長を勤めました。そして明治39年、アメリカの出版社から刊行したのがThe Book of Teaです。お茶を通じて日本文化をかたるこの本は、当初は外国人に向けて書かれたものでした。昭和4年に岩波文庫から『茶の本』として刊行されることで、はじめて多くの日本人の眼にふれました。現在の日本人が教養書として読む姿は、ある種の逆転現象と言えるでしょう。

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzō

Okakura Kakuzō (1862 –1913), also known as Okakura Tenshin, was one of the main founders of the Tokyo Fine Arts School (now Tokyo University of the Arts), and he also worked as the first head of the Asian Art division of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1904.

He wrote The Book of Tea in English and published it in the USA in 1906. He introduces Japanese culture through Japanese tea culture.
This book was originally written for non-Japanese readers, and few Japanese knew about it until it was translated into Japanese and published in Japan in 1929.

When Japanese people read it now as an educational book in order to learn about Japanese culture, it can seem like getting things backwards.

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