This classic of Japanese studies is an important contribution to the understanding of Japanese art and culture. The author, Okakura wrote Ideals of the East at the turn of the 20th century. The book quickly became a museum of Asiatic civilization, and yet more than a museum, because the singular genius of the Japanese people leads them to dwell on all phases of the ideals of the past, which welcomes the new without losing the old. He wrote of that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, enabling the people of Asia to produce all the great religions of the world. In Buddhism he found "that great ocean of idealism, in which merge all the river-systems of Eastern Asiatic thought-not colored only with the pure water of the Ganges, for the Tartaric nations that joined it made their genius also tributary, bringing new symbolism, new organization, new powers of devotion, to add to the treasures of the Faith." Asiatic art and culture went hand in hand, and how well Okakura wrote about both!
by Kakuzo Okakura
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by Charles Dickens
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