The Book of Tea: 12

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Adobe of Fancy

Hello. The chapter four ends in this page and we’ll move on next chapter later. The translation was quite challenging but so comfy to me when the work came to the end. His style of writing is vigorous, contains a profound knowledge, and full of overwhelming passion. I can but manage to appreciate it by reading hundred times and trying to find what Tenshin meant to claim.


The name, Adobe of Fancy, implies a structure created to meet some individual artistic requirement. The tea-room is made for the tea-master, not the tea-master for the tea-room. It is not intended for posterity and is therefore ephemeral. The idea that everyone should have a house of his own is based on an ancient custom of the Japanese race, Shinto superstition ordaining that every dwelling should be evacuated on the death of its chief occupant. Perhaps there may have been some unrealised sanitary reason for this practice. Another early custom was that a newly built house should be provided for each couple that married. It is on account of such customs that we find the Imperial capitals so frequently removed from one site to another in ancient days. The rebuilding, every twenty years, of Ise Temple, the supreme shrine of the Sun-Goddess, is an example of one of these ancient rites which still obtain at the present day. The observance of these customs was only possible with some such form of construction as that furnished by our system of wooden architecture, easily pulled down, easily built up. A more lasting style, employing brick and stone, would have rendered migrations impracticable, as indeed they became when the more stable and massive wooden construction of China was adopted by us after the Nara period.

 数寄家、趣味の家という名はある芸術的な要求を満たすために作られた建造物であるという意味を含む.茶室は茶の宗匠のために作られたのであり、茶室のための茶の宗匠が作られたのではない.後世のためではなく、それゆえに儚い.誰もが自前の家を持つべきだという考えは日本人の古代の慣習に基づき、神道の迷信が命ずるところには、すべての住宅が家長の死ぬ際は避引き払わなければならない.おそらくなんらかの無意識な衛生概念のために実践されたのであろう.

 もう一つの早期の慣習とは新婚の各々の夫婦に新築を与えるべきだというものであった.そうした慣習は遷都のためであるとわかる.伊勢神宮は、改装は二十年毎に行われる.崇高な太陽女神の神殿であるが、古代のしきたりを今でも保っている一例である.こうした慣習を観察することは、あるいくらかの建築様式、すなわち、たやすく壊し、たやすく建てることのできる木造建築の我が国の体系により備えられるものとしてのみはじめて可能であった.

 より耐久性のある、煉瓦と石を用いるものがあるが、これによって転居が不可能になって、安定し強靭な中国の木造建築が奈良時代以降に用いられた.事実、移動は不可能となった.

With the predominance of Zen individualism in the fifteenth century, however, the old idea became imbued with a deeper significance as conceived in connection with the tea-room. Zennism, with the Buddhist theory of evanescence and its demands for the mastery of spirit over matter, recognised the house only as temporary refuge for the body. The body itself was but as a hut in the wilderness, a flimsy shelter made by tying together the grasses that grew around, – when these ceased to be bound together they again became resolved into the original waste. In the tea-room fugitiveness is suggested in the thatched roof, frailty in the slender pillars, lightness in the bamboo support, apparent carelessness in the use of commonplace materials. The eternal is to be found only in the spirit which, embodied in these simple surroundings, beautifies them with the subtle light of its refinement.

 しかしながら、禅の個人主義の優勢に伴い十五世紀には、古い思想は、茶室との関係において得られたものとして、より深い意味が吹き込まれた.

 禅道は、仏教徒の無常の理論と精神が物質を優越することを修得するためのその要請を伴って、肉体を一時的な避難のための家としてみなされた.肉体そのものは荒野に建てられた小屋に過ぎず、地面に生える草を結びあわせて作られた脆いしのぎ、それらが解けてしまうと再び荒れ地に戻るのである.茶室において儚さとは藁葺き屋根を意味し、細い柱の脆さ、竹の支えの軽さ、ありふれた物質をつかうことの見え透いた無造作なところに込められている.

 永遠とは精神にのみ見られる、すなわち、素朴な環境に体現し、みずからの上品なかすかな光とともに美化するものの中においてのみである.

That the tea-room should be built to suit some individual taste is an enforcement of the principle of vitality in art. Art, to be fully appreciated, must be true to contemporaneous life. It is not that we should ignore the claims of posterity, but that we should seek to enjoy the present more. It is not that we should disregard the creations of the past, but that we should try to assimilate them into our consciousness. Slavish conformity to traditions and formulas fetters the expression of individuality in architecture. We can but weep over those senseless imitations of European buildings which one beholds in modern Japan. We marvel why, among the most progressive Western nations, architecture should be so devoid of originality, so replete with repetitions of obsolete styles. Perhaps we are now passing through an age of democratisation in art, while awaiting the rise of some princely master who shall establish a new dynasty. Would that we loved the ancients more and copied them less! It has been said that the Greeks were great because they never drew from the antique.

 茶室が個人の好みに合わせるために建てられるべきというのは芸術における生命力の原理の強い主張である.芸術を、十分な理解に耐えるためには、同時代の生活にとり真実でならなければならない.私達が後代の主張を無視するべきであるというのではなくて、現在をより享受せよということである.過去の創造物を無視するというわけではなく、自分の意識に吸収しようとすべきである.伝統と形式への奴隷のような従順とは建築において個人主義の表現の枷である.

 我々は現代日本にそびえるヨーロッパ建築の風情のない模倣を嘆かざるを得ない.我々は驚く.なぜ最も先進的な西洋国家の中で建築がかくも独創を欠いて、時代遅れの様式を繰り返しているのはなぜかと.

 おそらく我々は芸術の民主主義化の時代にいるのだが、一方で新たな王朝を築く名君の勃興を待っている.願わくば昔を愛するより多く、模倣を少なくすることを!ギリシアが優れていたのは彼らが古代様式の域から脱していないことにあると言われている.

The term, Adobe of Vacancy, besides conveying the Taoist theory of the all-containing involves the conception of a continued need of change in decorative motives. The tea-room is absolutely empty, except for what may be placed there temporarily to satisfy some aesthetic mood. Some special art object is brought in for the occasion, and everything else is selected and arranged to enhance the beauty of the principal theme. One cannot listen to listen to different pieces of music at the same time, a real comprehension of the beautiful being possible only through concentration upon some central motive. Thus it will be seen that the system of decoration in our tea-rooms is opposed to that which obtains in the West, where the interior of a house is often converted into a museum. To a Japanese, accustomed to simplicity of ornamentation and frequent change of decorative method, a Western interior permanently filled with a vast array of pictures, statuary, and bric-à-brac gives the impression of mere vulgar display of riches. It calls for mighty wealth of appreciation to enjoy the constant sight of even a masterpiece, and limitless indeed must be the capacity for artistic feeling in those who can exist day after day in the midst of such confusion of colour and form as is to be often seen in the homes of Europe and America.

 「空き家」という言葉は万物が含有するという道教徒の理論を伝えるだけでなく、装飾的な主体において絶えず変化する必要があるという概念をもっている.いくらかの審美的雰囲気を一時的に満たすために、配置すべきものを除いて、茶室はまったくの空虚である.

 状況によって何らかの特別な芸術品が持ち込まれるが、すべては原理的な題目の美しさを強化するために選定され配置される.異なる音色を同時に聞き分ける人はいない.中枢の主題へ集中することでのみ美的存在の真の鑑賞は可能になる.このようにして茶室における装飾の体系は西洋、邸宅の内装がしばしば美術館に変わるところ、において持っているものの対極である.

 日本人にとって、装飾の簡素さや装飾方法の頻繁の変化に親しんでいる我々にとって、西洋の内装の変わることなくずらりと並んだ絵画、像、骨董品が富豪のただの卑しい陳列という印象を与える.

 一つの傑作でさえも常に鑑賞を楽しむためには大きな鑑賞の豊かさが必要である.ヨーロッパやアメリカの家庭でしばしば見られる色彩と様式のそうした混乱のさなかに何日もいられる者における芸術的感性とは、実に無限を要するのであるにちがいない.

“The Adobe of the Unsymmetrical” suggests another phase of our decorative scheme. The absence of symmetry in Japanese art objects has been often commented on by Western critics. This, also, is a result of a working out through Zennism of Taoist ideals. Confucianism, with its deep-seated idea of dualism, and Northern Buddhism with worship of a trinity, were in no way opposed to the expression of symmetry. As a matter of fact, if we study the ancient bronzes of China or the religious arts of the Tang dynasty and the Nara period, we shall recognise a constant striving after symmetry. The decoration of our classical interiors was decidedly regular in its arrangement. The Taoist and Zen conception of perfection, however, was different. The dynamite nature of their philosophy laid more stress upon the process through which perfection was sought than upon perfection itself. True beauty could be discovered only by one who mentally completed the incomplete. The virility of life and art lay in its possibilities for growth. In the tea-room it is left for each guest in imagination to complete the total effect in relation to himself. Since Zennism has come become that prevailing mode of thought, the art of the extreme Orient has purposely avoided the symmetrical as expressing not only completion but repetition. Uniformity of design was considered as fatal to the freshness of imagination. Thus, landscapes, birds, and flowers became the human figure, the latter being present in the person of the beholder himself. We are often too much in evidence as it is, and in spite of our vanity even self-regard is apt to become monotonous.

 「非対称の家」は我々の装飾的様式のもう一つの段階であることを意味している.日本美術品において対称を欠くことに対して西洋の批評家の指摘を受けてきた.これもまた、道教徒思想の禅道を通じて築かれた結果である.

 儒教の二元論の考えに深く根ざすもものと、仏教の三位一体の崇拝は対称性の表現に反対するものではない.事実、古代の中国の青銅あるいは唐王朝と奈良時代の宗教芸術を学ぶとすれば、我々は対称性の絶え間ない努力を認める.我が国の古典的内装の装飾は決定的に規則的配列である.しかしながら道教徒と禅の完全の理念は異なっていた.彼ら哲学の動的本質は、完全とは、完全そのものよりも完全を探求する過程を重視することにある.

 真の美は精神的に、不完全なものを完成させたものによってのみ発見される.生命の力強さとは成長の可能性にある.茶室では、全体の効果が自身との関わりのなかで完成なものにするために客人各々の想像力に委ねられる.禅道が現在も残る思考の様式となって以来、極東の芸術は表現としての対称性を完全だけでなく、反復をも故意に避けた.

 意匠の画一性は想像力の新鮮味にとり致命的と考えられた.そうして、風景、鳥、花が人物像よりも好ましい主題となった.後者はそれを所有するひとそのものである.我々はありのままの自己を表現することが余計すぎていて、我々の空虚さにもかかわらず自己認識は単調になりがちである.

In the tea-room the fear of repetition is a constant presence. The various objects for the decoration of a room should be so selected that no colour or design shall be repeated. If you have a living flower, a painting of flowers is not allowable. If you are using a round kettle, the water pitcher should be angular. A cup with a black glaze should not be associated with a tea-caddy of black lacquer. In placing a vase on an incense burner on the tokonoma, care should be taken not to put it in  the exact centre, lest it divide the space into equal halves. The pillar of the tokonoma should be of a different kind of wood from the other pillars, in order to break any suggestion of monotony in the room.

 茶室では反復を避けようとする考えが持続しているのである.部屋の装飾に対する多彩な事物は選択されても色や意匠は反復されるべきではない.生花があれば、花の絵は不要である.丸い茶釜があれば、水差しは角張ったものであるべきだ.黒釉の茶碗は漆塗りの黒茶筒と合わせるべきではない.床の間に香炉や花瓶を配置するときは、中央に置くのではないようにして、それが均等に半分に空間を割かないようにすべきである.床の間の柱は他の柱とは異なる木材であるべきで、部屋の単調性を破るようにすべきである.

Here again the Japanese method of interior decoration differs from that of the Occident, where we see objects arrayed symmetrically on mantelpieces and elsewhere. In Western houses we are often confronted with what appears to us useless reiteration. We find it trying to talk to a man while his full-length portrait stares at us from behind his back. We wonder which is real, he of the picture or he who talks, and feel a curious conviction that one of them must be fraud. Many a time have we sat at a festive board contemplating, with a secret shock to on the dining-room walls. Why these pictured victims of chase and sport, the elaborate carvings of fishes and fruit? Why the display of family plates, reminding us of those who have dined and are dead?

 ここでまた、日本の室内装飾方法が西洋の、我々が見る事物がマントルピースやどこもかしこもに対称に並べてあるところのそれと異は異なる.西洋の邸宅において我々はしばしば無用の繰り返しのように思われるものに出くわす.ある男が彼の等身大の肖像画が飾ってある前で当人と話をしていることがある.我々はどちらが本物なのかと思うのである.絵の男か、話をしている男か、そしてどれかが偽物だという奇妙な確信をもつのである.

 我々は宴会に着座して、晩餐会の壁に密かな衝撃を何度も受ける.なぜ狩りの犠牲の絵が、魚や果物の精巧な彫刻が描かれているのか.なぜかつてともに食事し、亡くなったことを思い起こすような家紋の描かれた器が並んでいるのだろうか.

The simplicity of the tea-room and its freedom from vulgarity make it truly a sanctuary from the vexations of the outer world. There and there alone can one consecrate himself to undisturbed adoration of the beautiful. In the sixteen century the tea-room afforded a welcome respite from labour to the fierce warriors and statesman engaged in the unification and reconstruction of Japan. In the seventeenth century, after the strict formalism of the Tokugawa rule had been developed, it offered the only opportunity possible for the free communion of artistic spirits. Before a great work of art there was no distinction between daimyo, samurai, and commoner, Nowadays industrialism is making true refinement more difficult all the world over. Do we not need the tea-room more than ever?

 茶室の簡素さと粗野からの自由が外界の苛立たしさを解き放つ聖域なのである.そうして美の礼賛を煩わされずに身を捧げることを可能にするのである.十六世紀において茶室は歓待を提供し、荒くれ者の戦士と日本の再興と統合に従事する者が労働からの休息を提供する.十七世紀において、徳川の厳格な形式主義が確立してからの後、茶室は芸術的精神の自由な親交に対する唯一の機会をもたらした.

 偉大な芸術作品の前に大名、侍、そして領主に違いはなかった.今日、産業主義が世界中で真の風雅をより困難にしている.我々はこれまでないほど茶室が必要なときはないのではないか.

 いつもありがとうございます.

Goro
Goro

The chief editor and translator of Kamegoro Law Firm.

投稿者: 吾郎

2019年12月11日に事務所創設.法律以外の様々な問題を取り扱います.Office est. 11/12/19. Our articles include essay, translation, study about literature, psychiatry(psychopathology), humanities and sometimes roofless vehicles.

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