Book Announcement: Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice

Making Tea Making JapanBy Kristin Surak

“Elegantly written and extraordinarily argued.”

–John A. Hall, James McGill Professor of Comparative Historical Sociology, McGill University

“This is the tea book for which we have been waiting.  Surak introduces the
embodied practice of making tea, but does much more.  With methodological
sophistication, she shows how this apparently simple activity came to
define a unique ‘Japaneseness.’  This still be of great appeal not only to
those interested in tea and Japan, but more widely in nationalisms and
state myths.”

–Timon Screech, Professor of the History of Art, SOAS, University of

Stanford University Press 2012, $24.95

ISBN: 9780804778671

Though a pregnant symbol of Japan associated with heights of power politics
for over five centuries, the tea ceremony has attracted little scholarly
attention outside the archipelago*.  Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural
Nationalism in Practice *offers the first comprehensive analysis of the
practice that includes new material on its various historical
metamorphoses, a detailed excavation of its institutional organization, and
a careful analysis of the relationship between the national meanings of the
tea ceremony and the actual experience and enactment of the practice.  In
so doing, it uncovers how the practice acquired national inflections while
undergoing a radical transformation of its carriers, as what was once an
aesthetic pastime of elite men has survived into the twenty-first century
as a hobby of middle-class women.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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