Saturday, October 30, 2010

Call for Participants- An In Depth Study of Famous Ming Poet Zhang Yuan's Zhang Poyuan Chalu (aka Zhang Yuan's Tea Notes, Zhang Yuan's Tea Record)


With the online study of Hanjae Yi Mok's work Cha Bu- Rhapsody To Tea concluding, it is time to shift to the next classic for which we will discuss. This tea classic is referred to in Korean as Cha Sin Jeon- A Chronicle of the Spirit of Tea. After Lu Yu's Cha Jing (Classic of Tea), this text is perhaps the most influential of the tea classics. It has been passed on through different scroll copies recorded by different tea masters from different areas. The original word for word text is attributed to Zhang Yuan although he also attributes it to an earlier Buddhist Way of Tea which he states in an amended section at the end of his Tea Record.

As the translator's introduction in Korean Tea Classics states:

"The Zhang Poyuan Chalu, ca. 1595, is a late Ming Dynasty work on tea usually ascribed to Zhang Yuan (dates unknown, active ca. 16th century)... All the information on Zhang Yuan is contained in a preface to the Chalu by Gu Dadian (js. 1568 AD)... It seems this text was then simply integrated as section 14 , Caichalun (Picking Tea) in the Zeng-pu Wan-pao ch'uan-shu (The Supplemented Encyclopaedia of a Myriad of Wonders) compiled on imperial court command in 1595 by the Ming scholar Mao Huan-wen. This seems to have been the source that Cho'ui made a copy during his visit to Chilbul-sa Temple." (Page 66 of Korean Tea Classics)

In today's age of connectedness via the world wide web this trend continues. Those who do not have a copy of Korean Tea Classics do please follow along and participate by referencing a different English translation dirived from a Chinese source available here from The Leaf.

This tea classic will be covered one section a week which will go on for 24 weeks. Feel free to jump in with comments at anytime.

The first section will be covered next week.


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