has anyone read it or can it be bought?
i did a quick search but it seems to have been discontinued...i think
it was also a japanese version translated into english if that is true
that would cause some prob's. i do some group effort translations
myself and so much has to be invented or reinvented, "giving
translation labels to concepts/words". it would be great to have a
english version translated from chinese... even though, this is also a
problem, because lu-yu spoke/wrote tang/chinese... not modern
ps- one note is that his writings are so old there should not be a
problem with copywrights... i will do some websearching.
"sherdwen" ha scritto nel messaggio
I don't know about English translations of Chajing. There is an Italian one
made really very well, but it is in Italian (I guess I am the only one here)
and it is also out of print. I know also about a French version that I
personally have nevere seen.
In any case there are many critical edition in Chinese (modern Chinese) with
plenty of notes and there are also a few one in Japanese. Let me know if you
need any bibliographical reference.
I seem to be one of the few people who has access to this book, so I
will inform the rest of the world about its contents.
My copy is borrowed from the library at the University of Colorado at
Colorado Springs. The Library of Congress designation is TX415.L813. My
copy was translated by Francis Ross Carpenter, illustrated by Demi
Hitz, and published by Little, Brown and Company, Copyright 1974. The
company gives permission to reviewers to quote brief passages, so I
will do that here. The ISBN number is 0-316-53450-1. This copy begins
with a long preface by the translator that discusses China, Lu Yu's
time, and the history of tea.
The book opens with a chapter entitled 'The Beginnings of Tea.' Lu Yu
describes the tea plant, and where it grows best. Lu Yu comments that
tea picked in the shade is not worth drinking. Lu Yu also writes: "One
must guard against plucking tea out of season, manfacturing that does
not catch its essence or adulterating it with other plants and herbs.
Drinking tea under those conditions can only lead to illness."
The second chapter is 'The Tools of Tea.' Lu Yu describes 15 implements
used for making and transporting tea bricks, such as the basket (for
plucking), the furnace and cauldron, the drying shed, and storage
Next is a chapter titled 'The Manufacture of Tea.' Lu Yu describes
which tea leaves should be chosen while plucking. "Tea has a myriad of
shapes. If I may speak vulgarly and rashly, tea may shrink and crinkle
like a Mongol's boots. Or it may look like the dewlap of a wild ox,
some sharp, some curling as the eaves of a house." Lu Yu says that
these are the best of teas. At the end of the chapter, Lu Yu criticizes
would-be connoisseurs who judge tea only by its shape and texture. Lu
Yu explains why some textures and colors appear, and ends the chapter
with "Its goodness is a decision for the mouth to make."
The next chapter is 'The Equipage' (this translator uses French
whereever possible). Lu Yu describes 24 implements for brewing tea in
detail. Sometimes Lu Yu describes his own personal equipment, even
telling us about the markings on his Brazier. Lu Yu describes
instruments such as 'Fire Tongs' (for stoking the fire), the stand to
hold the cauldron of water, the water filter, tea bowls (cups), a
container for dregs, and various containers for carrying the equipment.
Lu Yu even describes how to make a proper carryall and water strainer.
Among his descriptions, Lu Yu discusses which metals are best for the
various pieces of equipment, and where the best bowls (cups) are made.
Next is a chapter on 'The Brewing of Tea'. Lu Yu describes the steps
for making powdered tea from tea bricks, what kind of firewood to use,
where to get water, how to boil the water, and when to add the tea. "At
every brewing, one pint of water should be used for five cups of tea.
Take the tea cups one after the other so that the heavy impurities will
remain at the bottom and the choicest froths float across the top like
patches of thin ice."
Next is a chapter called 'drinking the tea.' Lu Yu begins by explaining
"Born to this earth are three kinds of creatures. Some are winged and
fly. Some are furred and run. Still others stretch thier mouths and
talk. All of them must eat and drink to survive." Lu Yu discusses the
virtues of tea and where it is most frequently drunk. It is in this
chapter that Lu Yu credits Shen Nung with the discovery of tea. Lu Yu
says that there are no shortcuts to making tea, and that each process
must be completed with attention and skill.
Next is a lengthy chapter called 'Notations on Tea'. In this chapter Lu
Yu lists important people who had something to do with tea, quotes
references to tea throughout chinese literature, records poems that
mention tea, health benefits of tea and various anecdotes which mention
tea. Often times, the anecdotes have nothing to do with tea, but
mention tea in a list or in comparison to something else. The
anecdotes, which make up the majority of the chapter, are often vague,
and seem to be intended for those who were familiar with people and
politics before or during the time Lu Yu was writing. Two examples:
"From the Biographies of the Elderly of Kuang Ling: During the time of
Yuan Ti of the Chin Dynasty, there was an old woman who each morning
filled a vessel with tea and took it to market. Customers jostled and
quarreled with one another to buy it. But although she sold from it all
day long, the container remained full.
The money that the old woman recieved she scattered along the roadsides
for orphans, poor people and beggars. Many of the people in her
neighborhood began to take fright at such marvels and so the Justice in
the Prefecture had her incarcerated.
That evening the old woman flew out the window of the jail on the
vessel from which she sold her tea."
The following passage is far more vague:
"Shan Tao-k'ai of Tun Huang in the Chronicles of the Arts: Do not fear
the hot or cold, but take small stones regularly. The medicines taken
by the Master included the essence of pine, cassia, or honey. As for
the rest, he took only thyme or tea."
Next, Lu Yu lists 'Tea-Producing Areas'. This list is ordered by area,
and contains listings of best, second, and lowest quality by prefecture
and district, and also lists areas of comparable teas.
Next is a short chapter on 'Generalities.' Here Lu Yu lists possible
reasons to dispense with some of the tea implements. "Should one be
lucky enough to discover a clear spring or happen upon a fast-running
stream, he need not use the water dispenser, the scouring box, or the
water filter." Lu Yu ends this short chapter with: "However, when in
the walled city at the gate of a Prince or Duke, if the Twenty-Four
Implements find their number diminished by only one, then it is best to
dispense with the tea."
The last part of the book is a page where Lu Yu says that the preceding
chapters should be written on white silk strips in the order they have
been listed here, and hung where they can be seen while drinking tea,
and retained in memory. "With that, from first to last will have been
completed this treatise on tea."
This book is incredibly interesting, despite the fact that tea was
taken differently than it is today. Some of Lu Yu's opinions mirror my
own, and it is an interesting thought that I can agree with someone who
lived over 1,000 years ago. If you haven't read the Cha Ching, I would
highly recommend that you find a copy somewhere.
Livio Zanini- I am jealous,, you said there is French, Italian,
Japanese, Chinese, arrrrgh!!! The only English is the one that teadave
is speaking of and it is out of print, shoot!.
I got a bone to pick about this line....
I don't think translating would be that easy. the Chinese of
yesterday is not the same of today and also culture of then and now and
records of Chinese meanings for characters and I know from experience
that some words just don't translate well I will start a new post
about a word or two and ask your guys opinion of what is the
appropriate English translation stay tune...
sherdwen.... aslo the lu-cha jing is not under a copyright it is to old
could I get copy scanned TeaDave, if it aint too big
I have seen the Chinese version it is a medium size booklet.
It isn't difficult really. The only thing is to grasp the technical terms
of which Luyu speaks of, and the rest is a breeze. Translating the book
wholesale is not a problem, the most difficult part however, is to bring
across the essence of the book, and that, is the most dificult portion of a
translator's work. & the annotations - oh yes, that alone will take up
twice the amount of work on the translation.
Hi Livio, I have several different copies of Luyu's Chajing, different
editions. It is quite amusing to read them, but still I seriously wonder
what importance it carries for us modern day tea lovers. Luyu did make an
important contribution to the world of tea with his book, but I think the
relevant portion to us is but 20% - 40% perhaps?
Everyone has stressed so much on Luyu's book. Has anyone every read the
Continuation to Chajing, edited by Lu Yan Can? Now that's a book I would say
is difficult to translate; what's more, it expanded on many of Luyu's
writings. Written in the Qing dynsasty, it has much more relevance to us.
And to those who have read Luyu's Chajing, you would know that he listed
several places where tea is produced (8 regions plus 11 counties), here's my
question: why didn't Luyu mention Yunnan, where the tea plant originates?
Ever wonder why?
If you quote a small paragraph everyday, we'll be able to amass the complete
book? ...I know that in some areas the copyright law permits a maximum of
photocopying of 10% of the book per time...per time... :")
Is that a quote from the book? Luyu mentions that tea grown on the side of
the mountain that doesn't catch the sunlight, or in the valley, is not good
for drinking, as its growth is slow, and the qi stagnated...
I would translate the next quote as: "One must guard against plucking tea at
the wrong time, manufacturing that doesn't pay attention to the details (the
actual phrase is Zao Bu Jing - "Jing" here is not essence, but accuracy), or
mixing it with other wild plants and grass (the words Luyu used are Hui
Mang, meaning wild grass, not herbs)..."
...If I may speak broadly (the words are Lu Mang Er Yan..."Lu Mang" means
Rude in present terms, but in Luyu's times, it also meant to speak directly,
broadly)...curling as the eaves of a house (where did Mr Carpenter get this
line from? It isn't in the book...)...
...Its goodness is a decision for the mouth to make...this is a good line,
however it is not in line with the actual text. I would translate it as
"Whether the tea is good or bad, there is another method to determine this
(Ling You Kou Jue - "Kou Jue" is a method like mnemonic lines)...
I consider this the most important chapter of Chajing. Luyu puts a lot of
effort in writing this chapter.
Is "Sheng" a pint? I'm not sure with the measurement, Luyu writes "If one
boils a Sheng (pint) of water, it can be divided equally into 5 bowls (not
cups, they drank tea in bowls then, very rustica, an image I enjoy playing
in my mind!)" then Luyu adds that "it should be at least divided into 3
bowls, and at most 5 bowls. If there are more people, up to ten persons,
use another stove to boil water..."
...The tea should be drunk hot, so that the heavier impurities sink to the
bottom of the bowl while the essence of the tea floats on the top, if the
tea is cooled, the essence will evaporate with the heat; any undrunk tea
would have lost its essence..." there's nothing about patches of thin ice,
...ans here lies the 'method' Luyu mentions in chapter 3...
In this chapter, Luyu shows his lighter side...he basically divides the
"generalities" into 2 classes - in the wild, and in the city. It reveals
the confucianistic and daoistic nature of Luyu. He tells us inbetween the
lines that if one is in the wild, away from the confinements of social
restrictions and binings, one must treat the making of tea as naturally as
it comes, using whatever tools one has to make the best tea possible.
However, if one is living in a city, or if one is a prince, duke, official
or the royal family, then one must adhere closely to instructions, if there
is but one piece of utensil short, then why bother even to make tea..."since
one's heart is not sincere in making the tea using the all the utensils?"
lu-yu never went to yunnan therefore we didnt write about it.
for better words and terms... i think there are many chinese tea terms
that are misleading...black tea/red tea... anyway lets not go there,
but here are some we can deal with.
i got a question the term "cha dao", the way of tea.how would you
translate that? also "cha jing" tea bible any other ways to translate
it with more meaning or more accurately?
It is interesting isn't it? Considering that Luyu travelled all over China
to study tea, yet he missed out the most important area...he writes that the
tea plant is the par excellence from the south - he is right on that point,
though it is a little off to the west...
Cha Dao : The Way of Tea, The Path of Tea, The Art of Tea, etc
Chajing: A Bible of Tea (to loosely apply the word Bible), All About Tea,
Luyu's Book of Tea, The Complete Tea Guide?
This is some of the terms which I have mentioned before that should be left
in its original language, the translations don't fully match up...it is only
in the full elaboration that one comes to a better understanding of these
For me, I prefer to retain Chaodao, and I'll use Luyu's Book of Tea to
1. It is not relevant how it is pronounced - most if not all English
translations of Yi Jing were published under "I Ching" title. You can
dispute the correctness of that which would be not very constructive, since
it became already accepted widely. Because of that the proposed title "Tea
Ching" or "The Ching of Tea" will be most probably recognized by the reading
public as "same type of book as I Ching but this time about Tea".
2. If you want to talk about pronounciations, you need to use one of the
common phonetical "alphabets", since "Ee" also can be pronounces in a
variaty of different ways.
3. A reverse example would be many a traditional translation of western
names into Chinese which have little if anything with its actual
Well, the Russian way of life can be a target of many a criticism, but one
thing is undisputable - there are very few if any authors of even less than
mediocre value from any culture and/or language that has not been
translated at least partially into Russian.
In Russian culture a job of a translator was always regarded as a very
prestigious and many a famous writers and poets were also renown
translators. Some of them in my opinion, such as of a person who often read
both versions, surpassed the original work, like Ms. Right-Kovaleva's
translations of the Kurt Vonnegut's work.
Chinese authors of antiquity were translated into Russian many times over by
different generations of translators.
Shakespeare works were translated at least by 6 famous writers, poets and
translators and each translation was a work of art in its own. One of the
funny consequences of such an attention to world literature is a great
surprise when an average Russian learns from his/her conversations with an
occasional American friend that the works of Jack London, one of the most
beloved authors for a Russian reader is almost unknown to the public here
and he himself regarded by many as an Englishman. And American would also be
stunned to know that usually an average city Russian kid finish his
readings of everything written by London (except probably the "Iron Heel")
by the time he was 12. My British friends refused to believe at one time
that the tallest and most imposing building right in the center of the
Nevsky prospect in Leningrad, an architectural marvel that was built just
before the Revolution as Zinger Company headquarters is actually a huge
So it is JK Rowling that got herself (undeservingly so if you ask me) into
that league, not the other way around.