A Japanese tea ceremony and a chance encounter
Kyoto, in the seventies.
The story is written in the first person: a young Frenchman is introduced to the tea ceremony by a sensei (she who passes on her knowledge and experience), Madame Yamamoto. They await the arrival of one of the participants, Shimizu-san. Her first name, Ichie, evokes both the "meeting" (ichie) of two young people over tea and the Buddhist term ichigo ichie, literally "one time, one meeting", which is part of the Way of tea.
As feelings blossom between Yamamoto sensei's two students, Ichie reveals her family's tragic secret to the young man during an unusual tea ceremony.
In this weightless story, as airy and light as the flow of tea and almost without a plot, everything rests in the atmosphere, in a feeling of strangeness and fascination which carries the reader through a cleverly orchestrated story. It may be thought reminiscent of the film released in 2020 by Tatsushi Ômori, Every Day a Good Day, and Thousand Cranes, by Kawabata Yasunari.
From the Author of the acclaimed Lettres d'Ogura.
"... A mixture of exoticism and spirituality on a human scale, this pretty novel takes us to Japan and therefore to an unknown land for the most part. Far from being a tourist guide, we will close it again, under the spell of these "impressions" while having the impression of having progressed a little more in our intimate geography. ..."
“... the beginning of a relationship between fascination and strangeness in a typically Japanese atmosphere. An ode to the tea ceremony. "
"... Hubert Delahaye knows and masters perfectly all the codes of Japanese literature: a style, an atmosphere where everything is implied, everything is in chiaroscuro, metaphors, nothing direct, even for the expression of feelings. ... "
« ... Ce livre d'à peine plus de 100 pages, est une petite pépite emplie de poésie et de délicatesse, un régal de lecture, que vous aimiez le thé ou non, le Japon ou non ... »
Hubert Delahaye spent his professional life at the Collège de France in the field of sinology. He was attached to the Chair of Social and Intellectual History of China by Jacques Gernet then at the Institutes of the Far East as Lecturer. It was only natural that he was also interested in the neighbors Japanese, these islanders so close to the Chinese and at the same time so different ...