Through the Torii

Through the Torii

Yone Noguchi

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Editore: Forgotten Books
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 2,25 MB
  • EAN: 9780243742905

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The noisy time has slipped away even gracefully at Kyoto. (i see that it — the bar barian of modem type — has still a certain amount of etiquette in Japan.) Content is so natural and even becoming here (at other places it is almost outlandish and at the same time the most expensive thing to acquire), when one passes through the dustless streets of Kyoto, where the little houses with moss-eaten dark tiles humbly beg for their temporary existence on promise not to disturb the natural harmony with the green mountains and the temples that the holy spirits built. How different from the foreign houses, red or white, seeming even to push away the old-fashioned Nature With vain splenduor of scorn. The Kyoto people, the moth-spirits or butterfly-ghosts, are born for pleasure-making, and to sip the tea. I say pleasure-making, but not in the modern mean ing; the modern pleasure-making is rather a forced production of criticism, therefore often Oppressive and always explanatory in attitude. I say they sip the tea; I do not mean the blacktea or the red tea which the Western people drink, calling it Oriental tea; but I mean that pale green tea, so mild that it does not kill the taste of boiled water. It is the high art of the tea-master to make you really taste the water beside the taste of the tea; he is very particular about the water when he is going to make the tea; I am told that his keen tongue at once differentiates the waters from a well or a stream, and he can distinguish even the season from the taste of the water, whether it be Spring or autumn. He always laughs at the attempt to make tea with the ready water from a screw in the kitchen, which most unpoetically comes through the tube from a certain reservoir. We do not call you a real tea-drinker when you think you only drink the tea; you must really taste the fragrance and spirits of tender leaves of a living tea-tree, which grew by accident and fortune under a particular sun light and rain. And, of course, more than that, you must learn how to sip the tea philosoph ically; I mean that you must taste, through the medium of a teacup, the general atmosphere, grey and silent. And there is no better placethan Kyoto, the capital of the mediaeval, to drink tea as a real tea-sipper.
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