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The tea ceremony persists as one of the most evocative symbols of Japan. Originally a pastime of elite warriors in premodern society, it was later recast as an emblem of the contemporary Japanese state, only to be transformed once more into its current incarnation, largely the hobby of middle-class housewives. How does the cultural practice of a handful of come to signify a nation as a total? Despite the fact that few non-Japanese scholars have peered behind the walls of a tea room, sociologist Kristin Surak came to know the inner workings of the tea globe above the course of ten years of tea instruction. Here she gives the initial complete analysis of the practice that consists of new material on its historical adjustments, a comprehensive excavation of its institutional organization, and a cautious examination of what she terms \"nation-work\"—the labor that connects the nationwide meanings of a cultural practice and the real encounter and enactment of it. She concludes by placing tea ceremony in comparative viewpoint, drawing on other expressions of nation-function, such as gymnastics and music, in Europe and Asia.Taking readers on a rare journey into the elusive globe of tea ceremony, Surak gives an insightful account of the fundamental processes of modernity—the operate of generating nations.
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