The Beautiful Foolishness of Things

"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."This is just one of many serene scenes painted for us by…

Frank Lloyd Wright and The Book of Tea

Phoenix Hall, Uji, Japan c.1052. Photo by Bruce RichardsonHow did the Book of Tea help inspire architect Frank Lloyd Wright? The first siting of a Japanese building by Wright happened not while touring Japan in 1905.The setting was the Japanese exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.The Japanese pavilion (Ho-o-den), modeled after an 11th century…

The Book of Green Tea

This book offers the authentic poetry of great tea: Let us rejoice and drink deeply.   - James Norwood PrattThank goodness! The Western world has once again fallen in love with green tea. For many, drinking green tea has become a new practice spurred by an interest in tea’s healthy attributes, while others consider it a…

Dressing a 700-Year-Old Tea Jar

A centuries-old tea jar has taken center stage this summer at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC. The revered Chinese jar has a personal name—Chigusa, an evocative phrase from Japanese poetry meaning “thousand grasses” or “myriad things.” The story of Chigusa is the remarkable tale of how an ordinary Chinese storage jar, over the…

Waiter, My Tea is Blue

America's Colorful Love Affair with Japanese TeaRolling Japanese Teas, 1885Japan's entrance on the world tea stage began as soon as her trade gates were pried open by Commodore Perry prior to our Civil War. It didn't take long for the United States to become Japan's best tea customer. This was due to the direct transpacific…