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Portuguese-Speaking Diaspora

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O culto do chá

Wenceslau de Moraes. O culto do chá. Lisbon: Biblioteca Independente, 2008. [The Cult of Tea.]

Wenceslau de Moraes (1854-1929) was a Portuguese naval officer, teacher and writer who moved to Macau in 1895, where he married a Macanese and had two children. There he met the Portuguese poet Camilo Pessanha, who taught alongside him in a newly-created secondary school. Moraes abandoned his family in 1898 and moved to Japan, where he served as Consul of Kobe. He wrote numerous works about the country, including this detailed study of the history, culture and ritual of Japanese tea. He wrote: “Japanese tea, served invariably without milk or sugar, which ruin its aroma, is the most delicately agreeable beverage ever to be offered to our palates (not to everyone’s palate, mind you, but to a slightly dreamy, sentimental palate. . .).”  The first edition was printed on rice paper in Kobe in 1905. The 2008 edition retains the illustrations of Japanese painter, Yoshiaki.

Loaned from the library of Darlene J. Sadlier