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Zen Culture

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  191 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Anyone who examines the Zen arts is immediately struck by how modern they seem. The ceramics of 16th-century Zen artists could be interchanged with the rugged pots of our own contemporary crafts movement; ancient calligraphies suggest the monochromes of Franz Kline or Willem de Kooning; the apparent nonsense and illogic of Zen parables (and No theater and Haiku poetry) est ...more
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Published August 20th 2010 by Smashwords Edition (first published 1977)
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Lysergius
Aug 22, 2011 Lysergius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who examines the Zen arts is immediately struck by how modern they seem. The ceramics of 16th-century Zen artists could be interchanged with the rugged pots of our own contemporary crafts movement; ancient calligraphies suggest the monochromes of Franz Kline or Willem de Kooning; the apparent nonsense and illogic of Zen parables (and No theater and Haiku poetry) established the limitations of language long before the theater of the absurd; 400-year-old Zen architecture seems to be a copy ...more
Mad Giles (Giles A. Madding)
A comprehensive and accessible read on what I find to be a thoroughly intriguing subject. This book examines the way that Zen found a fertile home in the mind and hearts of the Japanese people. And how those very same people helped to bring new form and thought to the religion itself.

I found it to be a fascinating read, which was hard to pull away from until the very last page. The chapter on the tea ceremony was a personal favorite.

Though no one book could truly cover every facet of this subjec
...more
Mazen Alloujami
Nov 06, 2012 Mazen Alloujami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book about the influence of Zen on Japanese art and culture, giving also a good idea about Buddhism zen in general.
I recommend it especially for those interested in art, architecture and zen.
Al Bità
Apr 22, 2015 Al Bità rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a perfect book for anyone interested in the history and influence of Zen Culture. On page vii Hoover introduces his work with a quotation from Sohaku Ogata’s “Zen for the West” which explains: “Throughout the entire Far East of China, Korea, and Japan, we see the system of a unique culture which originated in the sixth century, reached its meridian in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and began to decline in the seventeenth century, but which is still kept up in Japan even in this ...more
Barbara
I did not go out of my way to find this book, I was just flicking through my kindle store looking for something different to read and I saw this I was intrigued so I downloaded it not really knowing what to expect, unsure if I was going to enjoy it. Sometimes we just have to pick up a book that we wouldn't normally look at and it turns out that I enjoyed it.
Quicksilver Quill
Jun 09, 2015 Quicksilver Quill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a great little book about zen--where it came from, how it evolved, who the major players were, etc. . . . seasoned generously with poems, photos, and paintings throughout. For a novice like myself, I came away from Mr. Hoover's work with a greater understanding and appreciation of zen culture. Highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about zen.
Duncan
Sep 22, 2013 Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating introduction to how Zen ideas influenced Japanese culture over the centuries. The book is accessible, broad in scope, and demonstrates genuine respect and understanding of the topics being discussed. Having lived in Japan and been fascinated by aspects of the culture like ceramics and the tea ceremony for a number of years, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Mark
Nov 27, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, it's a good overview of the philosophy of zen and its impact on various art forms including pottery, gardening, plus archery, etc.
Sanntint
Jul 14, 2013 Sanntint rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THIS IS A VERY INFORMATIVE AND SKILLFUL WRITTEN BOOKS ABOUT ZEN CULTURE AND AFTER READING IT , I FEEL MORE INFORMED ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JAPANESE AND THEIR CULTURE !
Shmendrick
An intriguing and comprehensive introduction to how the Zen philosophy has influenced and shaped Japanese culture through exploring different aspects of the culture.
Emma Dupont
Thomas Hoover takes a comprehensive look at how Zen philosophy has created the modern Japan we see today. Not a bad book, but at times rather dull.
John Beeching
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Thomas Hoover has a doctorate in oceanography and served as senior vice president of an architect-engineering firm in New York, where he has lived for several decades. His vices include being an avid sailor and a recognized collector of the classical music of India. He began his writing career with two classic non-fiction books on Far Eastern art and religion and then moved into fiction writing wi ...more
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“revised them to suit Zen purposes.” 0 likes
“According to Ch'an (and Zen), understanding comes only by ignoring the intellect and heeding the instincts, the intuition.” 0 likes
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