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The Hunger for Knowledge

One of the things that is a little frustrating to me is that I do not speak Japanese, nor do I read. I have a number of books in my collection about Chanoyu that are written in Japanese and I hunger to read and get the information from them. All that knowledge and I can’t get to it.

But I have not yet learned Japanese and so the frustration I am feeling is of my own making. If it was really important to me to read these books, I’d be learning Japanese and hauling out my dictionary to help me understand what is written in them.

So many times we get frustrated with life, and rail against all the things stopping us from getting what we want. When in reality, like my frustration with reading and learning more about Chanoyu, it is a frustration of my own making. I have been studying tea for 30 years and I could be very fluent in Japanese and reading and translating these texts if I had been studying the language for 30 years as well. Sensei says, “If it is really important to you, you will know what to do and how to get what you want.”

For those of you, like me, who do not speak or read Japanese, I have compiled a reading list to get you started in English. Want to know more? I suppose you could learn to speak and read Japanese.

Permanent link to this article: http://issoantea.com/the-hunger-for-knowledge/

2 comments

  1. Amemiko

    The desire to read books about Tea is one of the main reason I feel motived to study Japanese, but I remember how excited I was when I couldn’t read Japanese at all to get the Tea Master’s Almanac, mentioned on your list (It was an expensive book as teenager).
    But also blogs like this one are such a good resource, too. I hope the amount of English language Tea materials can continue to increase.

  2. Admin

    Amemiko,
    Thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to comment. I, too hope the amount of English language Tea materials can continue to increase.
    That reminds me that I have a few more books that have been translated to English to add to my reading list: The Zencha roku, Sen Genshitsu Talks about the Enjoyment of Tea (with Rikyu’s 100 poems translated to English in the back), A Chanoyu Vocabulary, Practical Terms for the the Way of Tea, and the new Urasenke Handbook. They will appear in the reading list shortly.

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