By Kristin Surak
The tea rite persists as essentially the most evocative symbols of Japan. initially a hobby of elite warriors in premodern society, it used to be later recast as a logo of the fashionable eastern kingdom, simply to be remodeled back into its present incarnation, principally the pastime of middle-class housewives. How does the cultural perform of some come to symbolize a state as a whole?
Although few non-Japanese students have peered at the back of the partitions of a tea room, sociologist Kristin Surak got here to understand the interior workings of the tea global over the process ten years of tea education. the following she bargains the 1st complete research of the perform that comes with new fabric on its ancient alterations, a close excavation of its institutional association, and a cautious exam of what she phrases "nation-work"—the exertions that connects the nationwide meanings of a cultural perform and the particular adventure and enactment of it. She concludes by way of putting tea rite in comparative point of view, drawing on different expressions of nation-work, akin to gymnastics and song, in Europe and Asia.
Taking readers on an extraordinary trip into the elusive global of tea rite, Surak bargains an insightful account of the basic methods of modernity—the paintings of creating international locations.
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Extra info for Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice
During the week, however, one is more likely to weave through the packs of shoppers and workers overfilling the sidewalks while trying to avoid volunteers requesting charity donations stationed at the subway entrance. A short distance down the street, the tea room is tucked away in an unremarkable multistory building, a few signs advertising the businesses inside speckling its narrow front, just like most edifices in the neighborhood. It is hard to imagine from street level that a tea room complex would occupy 20 preparing tea a significant part of the top floor in a building shared with a restaurant, an architectural firm, and a dance school.
While the details of walking vary from tea school to tea school, all strictly proscribe treading on the silk borders of the tatami mats—an injunction intended to preserve the appearance of the cloth and, though rarely exercised in contemporary life, traditionally taught as a part of good manners. Until patterned into the body and carried out mindlessly, steps must be carefully measured so that students do not make unusually long strides or short shuffles to avoid the borders. Furthermore, the feet are not lifted and planted, but rather slid in small steps across the mats, conforming to the demands a kimono makes on one to prevent its front flap of cloth from opening indiscreetly.
37 To this is added a refined comprehension of seasonality, necessary for the appreciation and appropriation of utensils. Though seasonal change marks the cultural life of many parts of the world, it has been embraced in Japan as a national hallmark, and inculcation begins early.
Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice by Kristin Surak