Other Related News and Events


About the Book:

The book is available through amazon.in

The Book of Tea is a collection of essays written originally in English by Kakuzo Okakura and first published in 1905-6. On the one hand, the book is an elaborate description of the tea ceremony and its various constituents; but on the other hand, it offers a searing critique of western imperialism and Euro-centrism. The book presents the philosophy that inspires the tea-drinking practices of Japan, along with a history of Sino-Japanese tea culture that was deeply influenced by Taosim, Zen Buddhism and Confucianism. Insofar as Tea brings together a variety of philosophical impulses from the Indo-China region, it acquires a pan-Asia flavour and becomes a fit representative of the Asian experience of life. However, in view of the fact that the east-west divide may appear to be obsolete today, it should be stated that Okakura’s writing can also be seen as a defence of trans-national cultural exchange resulting in composite cultures that many nations can collectively pride themselves on. Indeed, Tea becomes a fit medium for carrying inter-Asian worlds. Okakura’s presentation, therefore, is simultaneously a meditation on an eastern experience of the aesthetic of tea in particular and of life in general, as well as on western industrial modernity. In this respect, the work is a powerful anti-colonial text. Moreover, like the practice of Tea, the book itself offers an extraordinary path to adoring that which is ‘beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence’.

About the Hindi translation (chaiwaad):Book back cover

From the time that Okakura’s work on tea was published in the early 20th century, ‘chai’ has grown to become India’s favourite drink. While chai arguably has a different aesthetic from tea, it holds a cultural resonance in India that echoes and counterpoints the tea-culture of Japan. Further, Okakura’s work emphasising nationalism and cultural pride is brewed in many places in a recognisably Indian idiom. This force of tea carries over seamlessly in the chai-culture of contemporary India. In many ways this speaks to Asia’s shared cultural heritage, and the translation will allow the Hindi reading public to interact directly with their Japanese cousins. Moreover, western imperialism continues in a different form today, and Okakura’s ‘resistance’ continues to be relevant now when ‘commerce has forced the European tongues on many an Eastern port’, and many youth in India are ‘flocking to Western colleges for the equipment of modern education’. Okakura’s anti-colonial politics, as well as his aesthetic of life that challenges industrial modernity, have relevance for contemporary readers of Hindi as never before. The present Hindi translation,  prefaced by the noted scholar, Philip Lutgendorf, carries all seven chapters of The Book of Tea, as well as an appendix of names and locations that serves as a reference for key information in the text.

About the translator
Lav Kanoi is a PhD candidate at Yale University in the Department of Anthropology and the School of the Environment. Besides his research interests, Lav is enthralled by language(s) and is an experienced translator working across various classical and contemporary languages. He has previously published translations from Latin to English, and from Bengali to Hindi. Among other things, Lav is an ardent believer in the powers of language, theatre, music, and of adrak-wali chai.


Southeast Asia Studies Brown Bag Series – Workshop / Conversation:

David Biggs, Professor of History, UC Riverside
Jonathan Padwe, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Leah Zani, Anthropologist, author, and poet

This panel will feature Leah Zani, David Biggs, and Jonathan Padwe, authors of three recently published books on the subject of militarized landscapes of the Indochina conflicts, based on research in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. During the hour-long panel session, the authors will engage in an open discussion about the innovative research methods used in their work and will also focus on new approaches to writing about the legacy of war torn landscapes. The discussion will be moderated by Erik Harms, Chair of the Council on Southeast Asian Studies at Yale and will include ample time for questions and answers from the audience

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 – 12:00 to 1:00 PM
Workshop / Panel Discussion Via Zoom

Register here>>

<Selected Past Events>

InterAsia Initiative Co-Sponsored ConferenceAn interdisciplinary conference organized by Yale University’s International History Workshop
Connected Histories: Decolonization and the 20th Century
April 26-27, 2019
10 Sachem Street, Room 105
In the past few years, the project of writing global history has become increasingly celebrated. Many historians argue for the utility and indeed necessity of globalizing history. Others are concerned of what a global optic can occlude.
This conference invites senior and emerging scholars to interrogate what the “global turn” can offer to histories of decolonization and anti-colonial thought in the twentieth century. This would involve moving beyond the direct connections between colony and metropole and to think about other connected and conceptual geographies and terrains. We understand decolonization to encompass not only the formal transference of powers, but also the larger processes by which individuals and societies confronted the legacy and violence of empire – in political memory, intellectual thought, and public history.

57th Annual Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture
Surviving Conservation: Herders and Farmers in China’s Northwest
Lecture by Professor You-tien Hsing (Geology, University of California Berkeley)
Thursday, April 13, 2017 4:00-5:30 PM
Auditorium, Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

Artistic Exchanges between China and the Western Regions: From Mughal Jades to Zen Painting
Dr. Josh Yiu – Director, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Dr. Xiaodong Xu – Associate Director, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Thursday, December 8, 2016 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Room 203, Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.
Information on a related book can be found here.

Lecture: China’s New Frontiers: Rethinking Silk RoadsGePosterFinal

A conversation with Peter C. Perdue, Valerie Hansen, and Helen Siu 

Professor Ge Jianxiong (Fudan University)

April 6, 2016 4:30PM
Luce Hall Room 203

Language:  English and Mandarin



Workshop Series: Contemplating the Rise of Asian Cities – Move, Connect, ExchangeAsian-Cities-Move-1

Monday, April 4, 2016. 3:30PM
Whitney Humanities Center Room 208


  • Tulasi Srinivas (Emerson College)
  • Pamela Corey (SOAS)
  • Eric Tagliacozzo (Cornell)


Yale University Workshop Sharia in Motion: Islam, Law, and Mobility in Asia
Sharia in Motion posterApril 9-10, 2016
34 Hillhouse Ave., Luce Hall, Room 202

This workshop brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars working on Islam in Asia. It seeks to foster a dialogue between research on Islamic legal cultures in Asia and scholarship exploring themes of mobility, including travel, networks, and translation. The workshop builds on growing interest in studying how Islamic law travels across different jurisdictional, linguistic, and cultural spaces. Scholars working on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have traced how new forms of global connection, including European imperialism and new modes of travel and communication, transformed Islamic legal cultures. These processes of circulation engendered certain forms of homogenization, as some legal forms gained global influence. Circulation though also nurtured new forms of heterogeneity by accelerating exchanges between competing interpretations of Islamic law and different loci of religious and political authority. Today these processes continue, as new circuits of global mobility, from internet fatwas to electoral politics, spur transformations of Islamic legal cultures. Papers will engage with different Asian geographies, from the Middle East, to Central, South, and Southeast Asia, and explore InterAsia connections that reach beyond areas-studies boundaries. The workshop is sponsored by the InterAsia Initiative and MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University.

For further information, please contact julia.stephens@yale.edu.


The InterAsian Connections V conference (Seoul) will be held in April 2016.
Please click here for details. More information is also available at the SSRC website.

Workshop Series: Contemplating the Rise of Asian Cities – Imagine, Conceive, Represent

Monday, March 7, 2016. 3:30PMAsian-Cities-Imagine-1
Whitney Humanities Center Room 208


  • Max Hirsh (University of Hong Kong)
  • Martina Nguyen (Baruch College)
  • Anand Taneja (Vanderbilt University)



Workshop Series: Contemplating the Rise of Asian Cities – Build, Dwell, Live Asian-Cities-Build-5

Monday, February 1, 2016. 3:30PM
Whitney Humanities Center Room 208


  • Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University)
  • Qin Shao (College of New Jersey)
  • Lisa Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania)



Friday, November 20, 2015 7:00 PM
Location: Luce Hall Room 202
Documentary Film Screening: “Tale of a Butcher Shop” by Hanabusa Aya
Summary:  The Kitades run a butcher shop in Kaizuka City outside Osaka, raising and slaughtering cattle to sell the meat in their store. The seventh generation of their family’s business, they are descendants of the buraku people, a social minority held over from the caste system abolished in the 19th century that is still subject to discrimination. As the Kitades are forced to make the difficult decision to shut down their slaughterhouse, the question posed by the film is whether doing this will also result in the deconstruction of the prejudices imposed on them. Though primarily documenting the process of their work with meticulous detail, Aya Hanabusa also touches on the Kitades’ participation in the buraku liberation movement. Hanabusa’s heartfelt portrait expands from the story of an old-fashioned family business competing with corporate supermarkets, toward a subtle and sophisticated critique of social exclusion and the persistence of ancient prejudices.



Friday, October 9, 2015 12:00 PM
Location:  10 Sachem St. (Dept. of Anthropology), Room 105
Joseph Hankins -UCSD Poster  

June 9-11, 2014

Ecologies of Urbanism in Asia II: Cities, Towns, and the Places of Nature
(Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences of Hong Kong University)This conference investigated urbanism, nature, and ecological sustainability in Asian cities and towns. The 3-day conference, followed by a 2-day urban ecologies tour of Hong Kong and Macau, provided an opportunity for scholars to share their latest work on urban ecologies in Asia and also offered a forum to develop a long-term relationship between the Inter-Asia program at Yale with the HKIHSS.

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International Conference on Urban Ecologies in Asia
(Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences of Hong Kong University)