Resources and Links
The following list of resources and links is in no way meant to be comprehensive, but we hope it will provide additional information to help you enjoy a tea-filled life.
We prescribe to the part of Yanagi Soetsu’s Mingei Theory that says “Practice Before Theory.” Learn to prepare, drink, and enjoy tea. After that, the additional understanding gained through research and study will enable you to appreciate and enjoy tea even more.
The following links and resources are all in English. An additional resource on locating Japanese culture in your area would be to contact the nearest Japanese Consulate.
Teaware and Crafts
Please visit our sister site, WaSabiDou Antiques & Folk Crafts, to view a wide selection of ceramics and other crafts to enhance your enjoyment of tea, and to add beauty to your surroundings. www.mingei-wasabidou.com. For those wishing to discuss Mingei (Folk Craft) Aesthetics and Theory, please feel free to contact Tatsuo Tomeoka at or .
We always encourage the appreciation of functional craft, both antique & contemporary. If you are in Tokyo, a visit to the Japan Folk Craft Museum (Nihon Mingeikan) is a must, www.mingeikan.or.jp/english. Other fine folk craft museums are in Kurashiki, Matsumoto, Kumamoto, Niigata, and elsewhere in Japan.
In SanDiego, CA, visit the Mingei International Museum, www.mingei.org.
There are some lovely Japanese Gardens to enjoy in the Pacific NorthWest, where I reside; Seattle Japanese Garden, www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/japanesegarden.htm; Kubota Garden, http://www.seattle.gov/PARKS/park_detail.asp?ID=415, Portland Japanese Garden, www.japanesegarden.com; Bloedel Reserve, www.bloedelreserve.org; Nitobe Memorial Garden at The University of British Columbia, www.nitobe.org.
You can also search for Japanese gardens nation-wide at The Japanese Garden Database, http://www.jgarden.org, or see an excellent resource on Japanese garden topics in
The Japanese Garden Journal, www.rothteien.com.
Chado, The Way of Tea, is often referred to as “Tea Ceremony.” Outside of Japan, the greatest outreach has been done by The Urasenke Foundation. Urasenke is one of the three “Sen” schools descended from the line of Sen no Rikyu, which also includes Omotesenke and Mushanokoujisenke. You can find information on the Seattle Branch of Urasenke at www.urasenkeseattle.org, or to see a worldwide listing of Uransenke contacts visit http://www.urasenke.or.jp/texte/world/agency.html/index/html.
For information on Omotesenke, see http://www.omotesenke.jp/english/chanoyu/mokuji.html, or search for individual schools in the U.S. by city.
The Mushanokouji School has a brief English introduction on their Japanese website, http://www.mushanokouji-senke.or.jp/aisatsu2.html. Other schools in Japan include Yabunouchi, Matsuo, Enshu, Sohen, Endosenke, and Sekishu. A resource that contains a directory of instructors in the U.S. is Tea Circle, http://www.tea-circle.com. Go to “Resources,” then “Tea Instructors.”
Seattle is fortunate to have one of the few professional “wagashi” (Japanese sweets) makers in the U.S. Visit Tokara at www.tokaragashi.com to see these wonderful confections to enjoy with tea.
Because of Buddhism’s role in Japanese tea history and Japanese aesthetics, we thought we’d include these sites that feature U.S. or worldwide directories of Buddhist organizations. Dharma Net, www.dharmanet.org; Urban Dharma – Buddhism in America, www.urbandharma.org; World Buddhist Directory (a Buddhanet.net Project) – U.S. listings at http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/country.php@country_id=2.
For a nice selection of Taiwanese Oolong and other teas, please visit our friends in Seattle at Floating Leaves Tea, www.floatingleaves.com.
Washington State is fortunate to have the only Shinto Shrine outside of Japan conducting regular ceremonies and festivals of this traditional Japanese native religion.
Tsubaki Shrine of America is located in Granite Falls, WA www.tsubakishrine.org.
Art & Design
Chiyo Sanada is the Hiroshima-born calligrapher, now residing in Olympia, WA, that created the brushwork characters “cha – raku” featured in our logo. See more of her work; including mounted scrolls and creative forms of calligraphy at www.chiyosanada.com. DonnaClaire Design is the team that designed much of the media for Charaku. They have a great style and sensitivity to client needs, www.donnaclairedesign.com.
Some of our favorite music to listen to while enjoying tea comes from musicians based in the Seattle area. But, a CD from any of them is just a mouse click away from wherever you are.
World Flutist Gary Stroutsos is a sound traveler whose work crosses cultural boundaries. In 2006, his Sacred Clay Japan tour mesmerized audiences in mountain Buddhist temples and ceramic kiln sites around Japan. His Native American flute compositions for Ken Burn’s Lewis and Clark documentary gained him a command performance at the White House, www.garystroutsos.com.
Elizabeth and John Falconer are masterful performers of the koto and shakuhachi, respectively. They have performed nationally and internationally with their own style of Japanese music, www.kotoworld.com or www.duoen.com.
Soothing strains of romantic piano come from Grammy-nominated artist David Lanz. Solo piano and duet work with World Flutist Gary Stroutsos is available at www.davidlanz.com.
Health and Science
Search the following sites for articles and information on the health benefits of tea.
Journal of the American Medical Association, http://jama.ama-assn.org.
National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.org.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, www.ajcn.org.
New England Journal of Medicine, http://content.nejm.org.
The Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, www.usda.gov.
Science Daily, www.sciencedaily.com.
The World’s Healthiest Foods, www.whfoods.com.
This is a very brief list of books on a variety of tea-related subjects. Please do additional Internet searching for a more complete listing on these topics.
Yanagi Soetsu, The Unkown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty (Kodansha, 1989.)
Japanese Tea Information, History, & Culture
Yukihiko Hara, Geen Tea Health Benefits and Applications (CRC, 2001.)
Yukihiko Hara & Yukiaki Kuroda, eds., Health Effects of Tea and its Catechins (Springer, 2004.)
Okakura Kakuzo, The Book of Tea (originally published in 1906, but several modern editions are available on the market.)
Sasaki Sanmi, Shaun McCabe, Sen Soshitsu; A Japanese Tea Master’s Almanac (Tuttle Publishing – Bilingual edition, 2005 / originally published in Japanese as “Sado Saijki,” 1960.)
Sen Soshitsu XV, The Spirit of Tea (Tankosha, 1979.)
Sen Soshitsu XV, Japanese Way of Tea: From its Origin in China to Sen no Rikyu (University of Hawaii Press, 1998.)
Sen Soshitsu XV, Tea Life Tea Mind (Weatherhill, 1979)
Sen Soshitsu XV, Chado: The Japanese Way of Tea (Tankosha, 1979.)
Tanaka Seno, Tanaka Sendo, Edwin O. Reischauer, The Tea Ceremony (Kodansha International, 2000) [revised, original published in 1973.]
Mitsuko Tokunaga and Jane Pettigrew, New Tastes in Green Tea: A Novel Flavor for Familiar Drinks, Dishes, & Desserts (Kodansha International, 2004.)
Paul Varley and Kumakura Isao, eds., Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu
(University of Hawaii Press, 1989.)
Takehiko Yamamoto, Chemistry and Applications of Green Tea (CRC, 1997.)
Michael Freeman, The Modern Japanese Tea Room (Damiani, 2007.)
Arata Isozaki, Tadao Ando, Terunobu Fujimori, Kengo Kuma, Hiroshi Hara;
The Contemporary Tea House (Kodansha International, 2007.)
Japanese Cuisine (What goes better with Japanese tea?!)
There are probably thousands of Japanese cookbooks available. Here are a few that I think are good standards for the English-language kitchen.
Elizabeth Ando, Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2005.)
Eihei Dogen & Kosho Uchiyama, From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment:
Refining Your Life (Weatherhill, 1983.)
Harumi Kurihara, Harumi’s Japanese Cooking (Home, 2006.)
Harumi Kurihara, Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking (Home, 2006.)
(Ms. Kurihara has been called the “Martha Stewart of Japan” for her media work there.)
Deng Ming-Dao, Zen: The Art of Modern Eastern Cooking (SOMA Books, 1998.)
Yoshio Tsuchiya, The Fine Art of Japanese Food Arrangement (Kodansha International, 1985.)
Shizuo Tsuji, Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art (Kodansha International, 1980.)
(If you could only own one Japanese cookbook, this would be my recommendation.)
Shizuo Tsuji and Koichiro Hata, Practical Japanese Cooking (Kodansha International, 1986.)