The Schools and Virtues of Tea

“The tea-plant, a native to southern China, was known from very early time to Chinese botany and medicine…and was highly praised for possessing the virtues of relieving fatigue, delighting the soul, strengthening the will, and repairing the eyesight.” 

“The Taoists claimed it as an important ingredient of the elixir of  immortality.”

“The Buddhists used it extensively to prevent drowsiness during their long hours of meditation.”  

In Japan, “[t]he beverage grew to be an excuse for the worship of the purity and refinement, a sacred function at which the host and guest joined to produce for the occasion and the utmost beatitude of the mundane.”

“The tea-room was an oasis in the oasis in the dreary waste of existence where weary travelers could meet to drink from the common spring…”

Quotations from Okakura Kakuzo’s The Book of Tea

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