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Convention precludes the host from leaving the serving area to enter the space allo- cated to the guests, and guests have no business intruding into the transit and serving zones of the host once the serving procedure has started. Although our host has not been visible to us, we are soon alerted to her presence. We hear her splashing water around the final approach to the tea-room as she fills the stone basin where we will rinse our hands and mouths.
As I prepare to exchange silent greetings with our host at the middle gate, I adjust my dark blue kimono and my Kokura Ori belt woven by Tsuiki Noriko. On this cold morning I have been keeping my hands warm by sliding them inside my hakama, those large and pleated trousers that I wear for tea and noh.
Finally, it is the moment to greet out host. As usual, I feel a tense anticipation during the choreographed bowing in unison. Our unspoken acknowledgment contrasts with the everyday custom of using speech to communicate. This unity in silence suggests we are about to embark on something powerfully sacramental. In the stillness, our host retreats to the preparation room while her guests finish the ritual purification of our hands and mouths.
Our everyday anxieties dissolve. We are grateful for the consideration of our host when we discover the water has been warmed. With this thoughtfulness fresh in our minds, we file past a sunken waste pit, con- taining a small pile of garden refuse, where the last of our worldly concerns should be symbolically discarded.
The low, garden-side entrance to the tea-room is barely two feet high. The mild discom- fort of crawling while wearing kimono is a deliberate attempt to intensify the division of space that started with our transition from the outer to the inner gardens. It encourages us once more to leave all social status and worries outside. The principal guest enters first, kneels in front of the alcove, and bows behind her fan before regarding the scroll.
She then stands and crosses the tea-room diago- nally before making an acute right-hand turn. Kate inspects its weathered wooden frame and cast iron kettle with an expression that suggests she is reminded of the greatness that can be found in the inconspicuous details of the irregular and the ordinary. At this point, it is my role as last guest to coordinate our interaction that will unfold in the tea-room.
I enter, audibly closing the sliding door as a signal to our host that we are almost ready. I am aware that my kneeling inspection of the scroll, followed by my diagonal approach and acute turn towards the hearth, must allow the first guest to walk by me in that confined space. I take the hypotenuse while she performs a right- angle turn to the left that would not be judged ungraceful, even on the noh stage.
A neat triangle is momentarily inscribed on the rectangular tatami mats by our pristine white split-toed socks. The rigour of our movements brings to mind the walking of monks between meditations. Once we are comfortably kneeling in our positions, with the principal guest sitting closest to the hanging scroll, Sensei slowly slides the large screen open.
Host and kneeling guests all bow deeply in unison. Our host apologizes for her serving only tea and thanks us for taking the time to meet. In turn, Kate and I both express our delight at being offered this unique gift of hospitality. Our host stands and enters the tea-room, carrying a striking bamboo basket containing the necessary implements for preparing the charcoal. She leaves the room briefly, returns with a dish containing ash, and commences the formal charcoal preparation.
Sensei method- ically places the metal chopsticks, two metal rings, a brush made of osprey feathers, and the incense container in their positions on the tatami. She places it to one side on a folded mat of thick paper that protects the tatami from the heat of the kettle. Our host uses the feather brush to purify the hearth in a set of strokes that have a steady measured quality, adds the new charcoal, and brushes the hearth for a second time in a noticeably brisker manner.
Using the metal chopsticks, she adds incense to the fire, and a heavenly fragrance fills the room, a most palpable gift from the host that confirms that the charcoal will boil the water. Both guests inch forward and I almost gasp at the simple beauty of the charcoal. Its red glow lends the ash a mon- umental quality that brings to mind the snow-covered mountains outside. I wonder if the first guest will miss the cue to address her host.
As the first guest remains silent while our host closes the lid of the incense container, I speak somewhat out of turn, gently suggesting to our host that Kate might like to inspect this prized object. After turning it to face the first guest and placing it in front of her, our host returns the other tools to their specific positions in the dark bamboo basket, and leaves the room.
She moves out and back on her knees. Once our host hears that her first guest has returned to her position of honour, our host reenters with a larger feather brush and sweeps away any dust from the serving area while sliding backwards on her knees, facing the guests. After she passes through the doorway, our host bows and closes the sliding door. When Kate makes the formulaic apology to me for inspecting the incense container first, I bow.
She admires the hand-painted plum blossoms on its exterior, rendered in several sparse powerful strokes. Ogata Kenzan! I carefully inspect both sides of the lid, as well as the unglazed section of the base, before returning it to Kate. She turns the incense container to face our host and places the incense container in the position that will be easiest for Sensei to handle.
Once Sensei has heard Kate glide back to her position, our host opens the sliding door and re-enters the room. Although it is conventional for guests to repair to the outdoor waiting arbor while the kettle boils, the absence of a meal allows Sensei to hold an impromptu zazen meditation. Everything seems so vitally fresh. As my eyes adjust, I notice the pledge scroll has been replaced by a bamboo vase holding a single white camellia laden with morning dew.
Both the fresh water container and the container for thick tea — in its decorative silk bag — have been placed in their specific positions. I realize I have lost my sense of time. Kate and I stand, walk one lap of the room and then return to our positions. It contains the folded and damp linen cloth used to purify the tea bowl, the tea whisk, and the tea scoop.
Kate recognizes the bowl. Because this bowl was made by Cho jiro , a sixteenth-century artisan who worked under the direction of Sen no Rikyu , it is nationally revered. This precious bowl is more like an heirloom from an honoured ancestor. Our host carries the bowl as if it contains the destiny of all present. She kneels and places it in its spot before standing and returning with the wastewater container, the lid rest, and the water scoop.
Our host commences the relatively formal procedure for serving thick tea. She removes the tall-shouldered tea container from its woven silk storage bag. The guests catch a glimpse of the patina that the elegant bag has acquired over the generations. We notice the subdued details of its flower motifs. Ever the art historian, she had also pointed out that after an American constitution was negotiated upon Japan, the emperor was no considered longer divine, therefore the nation itself became the object of veneration.
Our host reverently purifies the thick tea container with her pre- cisely folded orange silk square. She caresses its mouth in three fluid strokes, then rotates it slowly and deliberately against her silk square. Kate is visibly impressed by this demon- stration of the principle of reversal: treat light objects as if they are heavy. Sensei handles the ladle as if it were a mirror. As our host gazes into the ladle to steady her own awareness, the first guest breathes slower and deeper.
Now our host begins to prepare thick tea, which both guests will drink from the same bowl. There is a brief pause to mark the solem- nity of what is to begin. The bowl is purified after being warmed by ladles of hot water. The bamboo whisk is turned three times before its tines are inspected. The bowl is wiped dry after the water is poured into a waste-water container out of our field of vision.
Our host then bows slightly as she slowly picks up the tea container, removes the ivory lid lined with gold leaf and places it on the handle of the ladle. Three heaped scoops of brilliant green tea are taken from the tea con- tainer and added to the tea bowl before Sensei rests the scoop, curved side up, on the right-hand rim of the bowl.
The remainder of the precisely measured tea cascades into the bowl. When no tea remains, our host wipes the rim to remove any powder which might discolour the gold leaf. The lid is replaced and the tea container returns to its position.
She then uses the tea scoop to draw three lines in the tea, perhaps suggestive of a road. The tea scoop is purified before being placed on the tea container. By now a spiral of steam is swirling out of the tea kettle, suggesting a distant sound of wind blowing through pines. I focus on the mur- muring boil for a moment but soon my attention returns to our host. She ladles cool water out of the fresh water container in a smooth, shallow stroke and pours it into the steaming kettle.
As the cold water trickles in, the hot water momentarily goes off the boil. When Sensei deeply ladles water out of the kettle and slowly pours it back in, the silence makes the pouring water sound even more like a waterfall. Her reverent handling of the water suggests she is dealing with the life force itself.
Unlike thin tea, which is whisked into a frothy head, thick tea initially uses less water to knead the tea powder into a thick paste. Steadying the tea bowl with her left hand, our host carefully ladles in a minimum of water.
Once she has prepared a thick paste, she takes the ladle in her right hand and pours just enough water over the tines of the dark bamboo whisk to create a sumptuous viscosity. Finally, she draws an almost circular char- acter with the whisk. Its spiral form suggests a tradition that will continue to evolve.
The front of the sombre bowl faces her guests. Sliding on her knees, the first guest retrieves the bowl and its handling cloth. Once she has returned to the first guest position, she turns the bowl clockwise to avoid the arro- gance of drinking from its face.
After the second sip, our host bows towards the first guest as she inquires about the condition of the tea. The first guest expresses her pleasure before continuing with the tea, and our host picks up the ladle and lid rest before returning the lid to the steaming kettle. The shape of the bowl retains the fragrance of the tea. As I am about to take my first sip, a hint of the aroma wafts up. When I take my first sip, the first guest bows to our host and thanks her before asking the name of the tea.
Thick tea is an acquired taste. The intensity of the first mouthful brings back childhood memories of unpalatable medicines that had their own bright colour-coded warnings. By the second sip the senses have stopped working overtime and that swallow has a flavour that could be tea. One of the hazards of being the final guest is that the last slurp can be the thickest.
Thick tea sometimes resists the idea of leaving the bowl but today that is not the case. I continue to savour the final mouthful as I prepare to return the bowl and its handling cloth to the first guest. When I make my final slurp, our host turns back towards the hearth adding one ladle of cold water from the fresh water container to the kettle. The principal guest must return the bowl to our host once I have placed the bowl and its handling cloth in the position in front of her.
Kate then moves across the room on her knees, placing the bowl just outside the serving area. After Kate retreats, we silently savour the lin- gering taste of the tea as our host enters the closing section of the thick tea serving procedure. Kate commences the host-first guest dia- logue by requesting to view the utensils, and Sensei places the thick tea container, its woven bag, and the tea scoop — with its curved end facing up and towards her guests — out for our inspection.
Our host returns to the tea-room and settles herself one last time, moving with the grace and precision that years of devotion to tea have brought her. She explains the provenance of the utensils we have been honoured to handle. Both guests realize that this is the dialogue that concludes the thick tea serving. Although we do not speak to each other, I sense that Kate is experiencing the same sensation of peaceful regret that I always feel when the tea ritual has come to an end.
She places each object, one by one, beside her on the floor. We all bow, and the door closes. The fictional- ized account of a tea gathering suggests that the obvious pleasures of Hakata tea are the simple joys of being in a quiet room with friends, enjoying a hot drink on a cold day.
There may also be the extra treat of seeing an unusual serving procedure. Or a luxurious feeling of having gone behind the glass partition of an art museum to handle historically significant tea utensils, indulging in a nostalgic dive into the local past.
Sometimes there may be a sense of having learned a new way of expressing intimate respect through the medium of the tea-room inter- action. After passing the watchful scrutiny of their teacher, a tea student may be validated by a silent beam of congratulations as they discharge their duties as second guest.
Perhaps a guest might bask in the pride with which a host has skilfully captured one particular instant of seasonal change. My favourite tea feeling is the knowledge that comes after leaving a tea gathering, a unique event that cannot be repeated: recognizing that I am somehow more integrated within myself, and more inclined to be at peace with others.
This subtle internal sense may be what the sacramental value of tea has become in the twenty-first century, a faint echo of the Zen intent marked by the thoughtful placement of the sekimori ishi by the host. Between the host and their guests is the understanding that the com- petent cooperation of all tea-room players is required. However, experienced teachers often remind us that the sincere intent to remain in the tea moment should not be undervalued. The tea universe is structured by a complex relationship of hierar- chies between utensils, serving procedures and tea spaces, but that delicate experience of unity in tea does not have to be monopolized by those with a particular linguistic, ethnic and cultural heritage.
As we read the previous account of a fictionalized tea gathering, there is a spatial movement from outside spaces to experiences of boundlessness within the confines of the tea-room. An everyday act like the provision of water by the host that allows the guests to wash their hands is reconfigured as a shared signpost along the profane- sacred continuum.
That fictionalized narrative presents tea as a social form of spiritual practice that demands a certain discipline. The mechanics of this taut ritual relies on an elevation of everyday mate- rials 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 struc- turing weekly, seasonal and annual routines. The stability of these tea cycles provides a structure that buffers against the disrupting death of those we love and respect.
In the spirit of Zen, wabi creates a simple, unpretentious beauty, with which all participants can identify. The intention of this book is to offer a non-specialist audience an exploration of the subconscious of twenty-first century tea practices and pedagogy.
I explore how transitive Rikyu -ness has been useful in forming certain identities. My wider agenda is to use the specific example of modern Sen tea values and practices to interrogate the more problematic category of the Japanese nation. 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 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. A discourse of seasonal change was used to nation- alize nature and communicate the inevitable transience of human life by insisting on the primacy of the Japanese state over individual citi- zens in the nineteen forties.
As a low intermediate student of tea, my interest is in identifying how the institutionalization of tea practice partially violates espoused tea values. My argument is that during the nineteen eighties and nineties, the professionalization of tea discourse marginalized the experience of tea students, and this situation is a consequence of a sys- tematic insistence on privileging the tea teaching system over the pedagogical needs of individual learners.
The transmission of Japanese cultural practices is threatened by the demographic changes of an aging society. Anxious grand mas- ters are facing the prospect of a generational reduction in enrolments, a trend that is compounded by a shift in the dominant mode of cul- tural identification. The performance of a particular cultural practice is no longer an absolute pre-requisite for Japanese cultural literacy. Being able to merely recognize certain symbols as markers of Japaneseness is becoming an important way of identifying as Japanese.
Changes outside Japan also affect how Japanese identity is con- sumed. Although tea continues to be an icon marker of Japaneseness, younger generations are more familiar with Doraemon and other anime cartoons than with how the formal and spiritual beauty of tea gather- ings is represented in the Kawabata Yasunari novel Thousand Cranes. In an increasingly virtual world where we can become what we see, tea films should be closely analysed. On-screen images of Sen no Rikyu operate as pleasant forms of education, informative entertain- ment that helps define Japaneseness.
The agenda of Rikyu films goes beyond merely reproducing stereotypical images of a distinctive national culture by giving attention to the importance of displayed flowers in tea-rooms. The two Rikyu films surveyed here generate insights into the tensions between aesthetics and politics, illuminating the relationship between those Japanese citizens who are governed and those political elites who lead. The analysis of a politicized Japanese culture contrasts with the way tea custodians present themselves as being merely cultural institutions.
As a grand master of a flower arranging school, director Teshigahara critically reflects on the nature of cultural trans- mission in his film. Critical and effective histories explore the triangular relationship between truth, power and the self.
I am concerned with how tea practices are sustained by the categories of subjectivity, national identity and tradition. Effective history questions the truth of those grand narratives which produce versions of histor- ical knowledge that favour a particular set of players. If those people see these excluding definitions as forces that can be acknowledged and resisted because they are not inevitable or neutral categories, that is the sort of intervention that has driven the critical intent of this project.
This book is an experimental history insofar that it points to the possibility of being conscious of the pleasure cycle of tea-room authority as a slippery opponent and component of the self. We have also seen how Japanese literature can be used in tea- rooms to express the impermanence of nature and human life. Through their complete silence, they communicate to us what is eternal.
The early modern application of flowers as a political imperative is a major thematic concern of later chapters. All flowers are not created equal: tea practitioners show little enthu- siasm for flowers that remain in bloom for a long time. Teaching institutions of the early twentieth century formed the category of Japanese literature, transmitting a concept of nature as transient.
The ideological work performed by certain interpretations of classical Japanese literature became part of a particular worldview that encouraged individual sacrifice as the highest service to the state. Being aware of this politicized version of nature will be useful later when we examine how national cinema comments on the role of tea in the exercise of state power. We are concerned with how the idea of transience that was sus- tained by tea practices and literary genres became allied with a belief in Japaneseness.
Our primary focus is how early modern interpretations of literature helped shape Japan as the community of unnatural death in the s. The second point to be developed relates to national needs that demanded visual culture function as propaganda: the wartime strengthening of the commitment of citizens by Japanese cul- ture depended on importing genres from Western painting traditions.
It is in the context of these literary and visual cultures that the political appropriation of the legacy of Sen no Rikyu from the Meiji period — onwards is examined. This brief survey of early modern tea includes comments on the grand master model of tea transmission.
Tensions between the national self and the foreign other, and the fluid relationship between native tradition and foreign innova- tion were evident in Meiji era — literature and Sho wa era —89 painting. Although tea practices centring on Sen no Rikyu —91 present themselves as purely cultural, they are elements of a politicized Japanese culture whose ideology communicates the lethal transience of human life by insisting on the primacy of state over individual.
The legacy of Sen no Rikyu is more than the artefacts that have passed from his hands into tea history and tea-room anecdotes. Items owned by Rikyu 2. Items adopted by Rikyu for use in tea 3. Items hand-made by Rikyu 5. In addition to these existential issues, the manner in which the legacy of Rikyu was co- opted outside tea-room contexts to create a common cultural identity deserves close scrutiny.
In the context of early modern Japan, the eternal presence of transience was harnessed into the project of inventing the nation as a divine identity. Nation building demands a politicized culture Since the Meiji Restoration, various segments of Japanese society have contested the construction of Japanese national identities, identi- ties for domestic and international consumption.
Before the top-down promulgation of the Meiji Constitution in , the Japanese Diet leg- islated internal security measures that curtailed intellectual freedom through publishing restrictions , newspaper ordinances , revised , limits on assembly , revised and a total ban on revealing the contents of petitions to the government and the throne Power struggles resulted in the political power base attempting to use policy guidelines to direct institutes to present certain social prac- tices and texts as the embodiment of the cultural exceptionalism of Japan.
The kokutai was one and indissoluble, and it implied a warm and loving union between the sovereign father and his children, the people. Given the widespread insistence on the sacramental unity of Japanese ethnicity, language and culture, it is no small irony that this invention of the Japanese national community was premised on the assumptions of nineteenth-century European nationalism: a common language defines the nation. The introduction of foreign modes of reasoning was a scourge to be resisted.
Censorship, rather than the Taisho period arrangement of informal discussions between censors and publishers, was an effective embargo on imported ideas in the early Sho wa period. Against this dynamic background of a regime of intellectual purity, the changing needs of Japanese foreign policy often shaped the domestic identity.
This contradiction highlights the tenuous nature of the nihonjinron claim to the inherent cultural uniqueness of an unchanging Japanese cultural tradition. Lethal transience in Meiji literature: beauty and death as citizenship For several hundred years, Genji Monogatari The Tale of Genji was regarded as a text for scholars. This eleventh-century text by Murasaki Shikibu c.
Two separate developments led to the resurrection of this court culture text. By insisting that Genji Monogatari was something for all Japanese cit- izens to read, this institutionally-created surge of interest arrested the decline of national literature at a time when Japanese were infatuated with translated Western ideas.
Citizens of all social stations had their collective attention drawn to an idealized conception of Genji. Using a literary figure to construct this authentic Japanese identity relied on a contradictory irony. It is a well-known truism that the past is a foreign country, and establishing Japanese authenticity required identifying with a foreign self.
In serving the political demands of the day, early modern citizens were asked to collectively identify with the idealized linguistic, historic and social other of Genji. Identification with the genteel figure of the aesthete Genji was one mechanism that incorporated citizens into an increasingly militarized national body.
The political process of using literature to shape the desires and self-perception of modern citizens demanded more than clever posi- tioning for a mass market. The written language of Genji was modified to make it comprehensible to its national audience of non-specialists.
Kanda Ko hei —98 , an expert in Dutch Western knowledge, coined the term genbun-ichi in when arguing for a written language bun that could be clearly rendered in speech gen. The belief of the day was that the modern languages of the West were not afflicted with such a disjunction between spoken and written language. Genbun- ichi sought to bring writing closer to speech. Another impulse was to bring speech closer to writing by developing a standard written lan- guage futsu bun.
As is typical with so much of the attempt to invent Japanese modernity, Yamada borrowed heavily from foreign devices. Advocates attributed to genbun-ichi writing the values of efficiency and neutrality. It is a lyrical poem that conveys through nature what I felt about nature.
Our immediate concern here remains with the constructed char- acter of Japanese literary forms and the porous boundaries between those foreign devices that are co-opted in the literary performance of national identity, a form of Japaneseness oriented to nature. After the Popular Rights movement was suppressed, religion assumed a political importance. Protestant versions of Christianity made an impact on those disaffected by the banning of organized attempts to expand the electoral franchise beyond those males over twenty-five who had made substantial tax payments.
The rise of Western influence was rein- forced by the Japanese victory in the Sino-Japanese War —95 ; as Chinese knowledge fell from favour, the hierarchies internal to the field of literature shifted: To a literary heritage inherited from China privileging histories and biogra- phies over base fiction, modern Japan added its own reasons for revalourizing the sho setsu form as the nation entered a new era of interna- tional intercourse. Meiji prose narrative informed by Western literary imperatives would be seen as a literature constructed to signify modernity, truth, seriousness, the West and even wholeness as a nation.
Superior beauty is tightly bound to brevity of exis- tence. That which is exceptionally beautiful is short-lived. This politicizing of Japanese nature embedded a lethal transience in the idea of national duty. This conjunction of nature and society has been useful in accounting for, shaping and justifying what now appear to be oppressive social relationships during twentieth-century wartime.
The personification of nature accompanied this emerging national discourse that integrated inevitable cycles of life, death and rebirth with political demands for sacrifice. The following poem of Jien the Monk — attributes consciousness to the plant kingdom: Let us not blame the wind, indiscriminately, That scatters the flowers so ruthlessly; I think it is their own desire to pass away before their time has come.
Wrapping the inevitability of death in the brevity of beauty made Greater East Asian War demands for absolute loyalty to the state pos- sible. 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.
If the primary task of Japanese literature scholars was to protect Japaneseness, one of the secondary tasks of Japanese authors was to internalize the official standards of censorship, and to self-censor accordingly.
Should pro- ducers of Japanese literature fail to anticipate what was permissible according to the changing standards of the day, they would, in extreme cases, be subject to the force of Home Ministry law. The translation of Genji Monogatari into comprehensible wartime Japanese, commenced by Tanizaki Junichiro in may be an example of just how effective the informal application of professional and private connections could be in maintaining an atmosphere of national seriousness.
Genji and his stepmother, Fujitsubo ; the enthronement of the offspring of that illicit liaison i. In , Tanizaki expressed his gratitude to the deceased Yamada by emphasizing that without the encouragement of Yamada, Tanizaki would have not managed to embark on the Genji translations. Such waves of patriotic ideology were not without their opponents who envisioned a different mode of identification with various polities.
Interred behind Russian lines roughly four decades before a generation of Japanese youth were conscripted for suicide attacks, these Japanese officers sought permission to ice-skate and the right to drink vodka. Sho wa era painting: foreign beats native Attempts to publicize an authentic Japanese identity were visible in the field of painting, and provide an interesting contrast to the attempts of literary censors to treat foreign ideas as forbidden fruit subject to con- fiscation.
This political appropriation of Western realism around the turn of the twentieth century resulted in the now fundamental distinction between Japanese nihonga painting on paper and Western yo ga oil painting on canvas. Our paintings contribute to stimu- lating martial spirit in wartime and will be preserved for posterity.
Thus there can be none so happy as we Japanese painters today. This highly politicized genre promised a jubilant national future that contrasted with the individual miseries of everyday life during the terminal throes of a war that could not be won. However, propaganda requirements sometimes result in visions which do not tally with the fatality figures documented by military historians. In an ironic sleight of hand, Fujita disguised the failure of the Japanese invasion of Soviet-controlled Outer Mongolia in by evoking the glorious spectre of the successful defence against the Mongolian invasion in the thirteenth century.
Traditional nihonga modes and subjects of expression were reconfig- ured in the politically more expedient foreign yo ga genre of Western painting. Against this background of native techniques being less effective as propaganda, these images from the Great East Asia War Art Exhibition gestured towards an essential Japanese identity that aspired to represent the hopes of a decolonized Asia.
The colonial activities of Japan in Taiwan, Korea and China were given an aesthetic veneer of legitimation by a series of noh perform- ances in those countries from onwards. Japanese audiences reported that hearing those noh songs and seeing the noh perform- ances made foreign soil Japanese.
More than merely acting to incorporate foreign territories into the Japanese sphere of influence, noh also became a means of honouring the Japanese war dead. The souls of deceased Japanese military men, policemen and sailors were honoured at ceremonies that included noh performances. This survey has outlined something of the complicated manoeuvres neces- sary to stabilize Japanese identities for domestic and international consumption.
This didactic use of literary and visual culture in the early twentieth century is consistent with the Theatre Reform Movement of the Meiji period. Those statements clearly contradict years of historical evidence.
Tactical maneuvres are here disguised as strategic, time-stopping state- ments. This image of tea as the one unchanging constant of Japanese cultural life anticipated the Genji boom of — The later co- option of texts such as Genji into the symbolic vocabulary that constituted the myth of national unity established a thematic unity between beauty, premature death and national duty.
It is a powerful mechanism, serving to dis- empower people from maintaining and cultivating their own culture. The Senke schools of tea, Urasenke, Omotesenke and Mushanoko jisenke, the three Houses of Sen, accepted the legitimating benefits of the state. Senke tea emphasized the conservative values deemed to be desir- able for welding individual will into the life of the nation. As the cultural sphere was politicized and subject to government control in the early twentieth century, tea-room retreats by middle-class citizens into imag- inative reconstructions of medieval court life were reduced to futile resistance.
As the following paragraphs suggest, even today consumers of tea discourse make gendered choices at the intersection of the aes- thetic caress of state power and discourses of consumption and play. Imperialism continues to work through tea play because of various strategies to present tea practices as an elite cultural form at the same time as it operates, via the media, as mass culture.
The interests of Sen tea schools co- exist in a complex symbiosis with a particular configuration of political, ideological and religious concerns. Temae naturally takes us to the moral practice that everyone should follow. The first point is the endorsement of Confucian virtues which tend to be associated with daimyo tea of Furuta Oribe — , Kobori Enshu — , and Katagiri Sekishu —73 , rather than the wabi aesthetic of Sen no Rikyu which gestures towards a form of Buddhism that rewards individual effort.
After the petition of Gengensai, Senke tea served the interests of the modern state by being an instrument of leisure that carried the rigid social norms of feudal Japan into the modernizing Meiji Japan. Instead of being a socio-political ritual for military elites, tea became part of the machinery that created Japanese citizens. The iemoto system prevented the tea sponsored by shoguns and daimyos to deviate from the norms established by social and political pressures.
This kind of petrification of tradition was a useful device for the Tokugawa, allowing them to control the ritual arts and to convey a message of polit- ical immutability and stability. The second point of interest raised by the comments of the fifteenth generation Urasenke Grand Master is a claim for the univer- sality of tea practice as a moral technology. This significant shift away from tea as the purest embodiment of Japaneseness to tea as a global practice that everyone should follow is a form of cultural imperialism that affected how Japanese identity was represented in international media.
A later section considers the post-war export of tea values out- side Japan by going beyond the personality cult that surrounds the contemporary figures of grand masters. Conclusion This chapter interrogates a central tenet of Japanese ideology: pre- senting the cultural world as natural and inevitable. This survey exposes the ideological strategy of presenting nature as neutral. The attention to the tension between Japanese self and foreign other in lit- erature and painting is intended to undercut nihonjinron claims for the purity of Japanese identity.
My outline of a politicized Japanese nature lays a foundation for examining pedagogical forms of tea power in the following chapters. I execute a close reading of a range of popular cul- ture texts in Chapter 3 to demonstrate the contemporary persistence of this state-centred ideology of transience. In Chapter 6 I denatu- ralize the authority of the grand master system and that analysis is useful in commenting on how film treats tea transmission in Chapters 8 and 9.
As such, nature was enabling; it facilitated the formulation of a modern notion of a Japanese society. The first section outlines the development of a belief that flowers generally, and sakura cherry blossoms specifically, were sacred enti- ties. The second and third sections compare the meanings of sakura during wartime and in the late s. After the moral and financial excesses of the so-called bubble economy in the s, Japaneseness was both a sacra- ment and a commodity during the final years of the reign of the fifteenth Urasenke grand master.
Tea practices exist in a cut-continuance relationship with national identity. Tea is an internal other, a representative icon that marks a dis- tinctive mode of hospitality that engages with natural rhythms. Tea practices are so cut off from the daily repertoire of many Japanese that tea continues to be a somewhat foreign performance of Japanese iden- tity for a sizeable portion of the Japanese population.
At the same time as tea practices are significantly removed from the corporeal literacies of residents of the Japanese archipelago, the depth of tea history implies that a national identity based on distinctive cultural practices has been a continuing presence.
This other-world of tea allowed Japaneseness to be defined in a manner that blurred the boundaries between the worlds of nature and society. Personifying nature and naturalizing Japanese subjectivity, and attributing a divinity to flowers, these three moves were the essential pre-conditions for the early modern creation of a sacramental Japanese identity.
Tea as transience: divine flowers and sacred Japaneseness The early modern invention of Japaneseness drew on the domestic and imported resources of literary and visual culture, conjuring a common cultural identity that linked natural beauty, death and national duty. This political project of linking the organic and divine realms with national identity was sustained across the Meiji, Taisho and Sho wa periods.
The s development of censorship apparatus was consolidated by a comprehensive thought-control system implemented in the s. The permanent transience of pre-global warming definitions of Japanese nature, where seasonal change was constant and therefore an eternal rhythm that exists beyond time, created Japan as an early twen- tieth-century community united by its destiny of unnatural death.
The rhetorical deployment of innocent cherry blossoms, forever doomed to be too powerless to resist the annual orders of spring gusts, helped construct this fated destination of individual sacrifice as s national service. The former aimed at reunifying the state, the latter at imposing the new social order on the nation. When he arrived, there was not a single bloom to be seen.
Once the puzzled Hideyoshi entered the tea-room, he was allegedly stunned by the one perfect morning glory displayed by Rikyu in the alcove. Given the choice between the oblivion of a death sentence and a life- saving apology, which option would Rikyu select? The merchant tea-master wipes out a field of dearly nurtured flowers to emphasize one perfect bloom for the one warrior general who united the country. When Nishiyama Matsunosuke outlined his historical analysis of the importance of flowers in Japanese culture, he prefaced his remarks by noting that ,, Japanese people comprised a largely uniform ethnic group who shared a common language as they developed their island country.
Although distinguished culture was imported from the Chinese continent, something that existed in the hearts of ancient Japanese has not been forgotten. Being such a unique race, the Japanese cultivated an appreciation of flowers that did not exist within the culture of other ethnic groups. The individual — now citizen — was directly tied to the nation-state. Variation and difference were now permitted only within the Same. The self, the spiritual subject, is converted back kie suru to nature unconditionally mujo ken ni in such a way that the self overcomes itself and forgets itself in the wonders of nature.
However, instead of being seduced by the famous sakura of a specific location for example, Yoshino , the experience of the spiritual self is also overwhelmed by a more expansive frame, the national aesthetic of transience. Once the category of the nation achieved its primacy, a new authen- ticity emerges. The sakura of Yoshino were commemorated in the taiko noh Yoshino Mo de, a staged rendition of the pilgrimage of Hideyoshi to Yoshino that was performed for Hideyoshi during his visit to Yoshino.
The crucial themes of this tale of Japan as the land of harmony are warfare, imperial worship and nature as a divine entity. Yoshino was a site of crucial battles, imperial viewings of Yoshino sakura are recorded in the eighth century Manyo shu , and those sakura are associated with fertility, purity, sacredness and beauty. The deity Izanami was buried at Kumano. And it was here that the existence of the sacred sword Futsunushi was revealed and from here a divine crow is said to have guided Emperor Jinmu into a position from which he was able to gain a foothold on the Yamato plain.
From this sacred place he gathered strength to pacify the country and secure the throne. The sun-goddess Amaterasu allegedly appeared to him in a dream to advise him. Thus he may have intended to receive these oaths not only in his person but as a representa- tive of his ancestors present in Yoshino.
Yoshino was thus a Japanese Valhalla. According to Shirakawa Shizuka, Yoshino became a place of imperial renewal tamafuri and purification because of its sacred waters. But the blossoms could also symbolize a divine land as the Japanese tried to see them as preludes to the fruit of another world.
With the experience of nature acquiring more of a national scent, the modern enshrinement of sakura at Yasukuni Shrine and other Defence-of-the-Nation Shrines made a new mode of being Japanese possible. Japanese identity became a sacrament, defined by an aesthetic of transience that celebrated flowers.
Nishiyama identified four points that gave flowers their distinctive role in Japanese culture. First, Japanese people perceived divinity in flowers. Japanese are the race that saw flowers as gods. Second, in the course of time a classification of trees, rocks, bamboo and grasses attributed specific conditions to them. As a result, they too held divinity and were regarded as flowers. Three, in addition to this divinity of flowers, the visual apprehension of flowers as flowers was an aes- thetic convention learnt from the high culture of China.
This link with unique Japanese culture resulted in huge developments in the flower culture of Japan. Four, moreover, this flower culture was embedded in daily life. Sculpture, ceramic art, lacquer ware, dyed and woven fabric, metal work, etc.
The descendants of Rikyu have transmitted to us what are now institutionalized sets of tea practices and a commitment to a distinctive culture. Tea has become a dance where national identity partners indi- vidual practitioners, a sixteen generation tradition constituted by a rhythm of blooming and withering that exceeds a merely human scale. In an aesthetic of transience centred on flowers, divinity was a con- stant presence.
Sakura marked the pre-modern presence of the gods who generally provided adequate harvests. It was not the falling cherry blossoms that became gods during the final throes of that wartime. Wartime sakura: patriotic transience The ultra-right Sakura Kai Cherry Blossom Group was established in October to reconstruct the nation kokka , and this group openly advocated the violent use of force.
Seppuku was used as a protest against government oppression of Nichiren Kai which was established in One prominent member, a thirty-two-year-old with the family name Eigawa, changed his given name to include the sakura character. Waga shugi no tame ni shino! Waga shu kyo no tame ni shino! Waga do shi no tame ni shino! Consider how Captain Asakawa, who was twenty-three years old when he died on 6 April , expresses his pleasure at dying for Japan.
While it may be argued that some of these previous exam- ples are of questionable historical importance because of their wartime brevity, the following section demonstrates that during the s, these elements were a problematic part of public life in Japan. The Kumai film is concerned with the power of an authentic culture to shape individual desire in a manner that results in self-destruction.
Persistent sakura This section addresses the issue of the contemporary persistence of Sho wa militarist discourse in the Japanese s. First, the political use of what often appears to outside consumers of orientalist images as nothing more than quaint aesthetic symbols have been leveraged by advocates of Japanese uniqueness and other cultural particularists into a counter-orientalist discourse with disastrous domestic consequences.
Second, a similar semantic shift from war to peace is visible in two symbols of Japan: sakura and tea. Our intention here is to deconstruct a nationalized ideology of cultural uniqueness by showing its real world consequences. Eight images locate sakura in discourses of the nation and clarify the extent to which this sacramentalized identity has been commodified. Figure 1 is a mural from the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots established near the Chiran special attack unit base.
Figure 2 records female students waving farewell to pilots about to depart. Figure 3 documents the practice of handing sakura branches to pilots prior to their final takeoff. Figure 4 is a shot of the architectural com- bination of cherry trees and memorial columns to line the entrance to the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots.
Figure 7 is an advertisement for a video series that records the Pacific War battles of young Japanese men. Figure 8 is an advertisement for a recently-made sword with a sakura hilt. The use of sakura in both Figures 1 and 4 accounts for the seductive persuasiveness of natural symbols and provides a degree of solace to surviving comrades, relatives and citizens. It consists of seven ceramic panels executed by Nakaya Katsuyoshi of Miyazaki Prefecture.
It was fired in Shigaraki and is three metres high and about four and a half metres wide. This mural is mounted on the wall that divides the exhibition rooms from the entrance foyer of the building. The mural is an example of the war painting genre of senso ga that incorporates a spiritual component. Nakaya has used sakura in a way that contrasts with the dominant documentary tone of other items exhibited in the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots: The picture shows the Hayabusa Kamikaze Plane burning in a ball of flames.
Six heavenly maidens are helping a lone pilot to escape from the bowels of the plane and [are] taking him to a safe destination in the sky. Four more spirits hover protec- tively above this representative corpse and one pours a soothing libation from on high, from the visual centre of the mural. That's right! Vote for your favorite Viral Video of all time and Orange will spoof the top five and release them every day next week!!!
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|Virtualize mac os x vmware torrent||See you here soon as part of your Indo adventure! The harmony of Japanese culture operated in this world view as evidence of the status of Japan as a world-class country, and as a pleasing distraction from exaggerated reports of Japanese atrocities that were distastefully wor- rying, both at home and abroad. Items hand-made by Rikyu 5. In the context of early modern Japan, the eternal presence of transience was harnessed into the project of inventing the nation as a divine identity. Kate Bonansinga and Dale Slusser gave my project a boost that resulted in certain elements of my work being included in the edited collection Japanese Tea Culture: Art, History, and Practice RoutledgeCurzon, The camera has moved to the left for the third plate. I have been blessed with the encouragement of a number of men- tors whose support exceeds the life-span of this project from its con- ception in individual papers and final publication.|
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