EASTD 152 - Tea in Japan / America





Melissa M. McCormick

Wednesday, 3:00pm - 5:45pm

This undergraduate seminar examines the history, culture, and practice of the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu) and its reception in the United States. What began as a ritualized preparation of tea, by the medieval period had developed into a wide-ranging cultural practice the study of which opens onto issues of Japanese aesthetics, political history, and philosophy. Common perceptions of chanoyu today, however, are often filtered through the lens of its first systematic presentation in the United States, Okakura Tenshin’s Book of Tea (1906). With this in mind, the course takes advantage of the rich resources in the Boston area that pertain directly to this early phase of “teaism” in America, while exploring later twentieth-century and contemporary examples of art and architecture related to tea.

Enrollment limited to 12.

In addition to the seminar meeting (2 hours within the allotted time), a 1-hour “tea lab” will meet each week consisting mainly of tea ceremony instruction.

Requirements: No background in Japanese studies necessary. Enrollment is limited to 12 and requires permission of the instructor.