Okakura Kakuzo wrote The Book of Tea in English in Boston in 1906 to introduce the Japanese tea ceremony to a Western audience steeped in Aestheticism. Tuttle picked it up in 1956 and has kept it in print ever since. Over the twentieth century Americans worked out a plain, tough, colloquial style of prose ideally suited to writing about Zen practice. Okakura pre-dates that. Here he is on flowers:
Tell me, gentle flowers, teardrops of the stars, standing in the garden, nodding your heads to the bees as they sing of the dew and the sunbeams, are you aware of the fearful doom that awaits you? Dream on, sway and frolic while you may in the gentle breezes of summer. To-morrow a ruthless hand will close around your throats. You will be wrenched, torn asunder limb by limb, and borne away from your quiet homes. The wretch, she may be passing fair. She may say how lovely you are while her fingers are still moist with your blood. Tell me, will this be kindness? It may be your fate to be imprisoned in the hair of one whom you know to be heartless or to be thrust into the buttonhole of one who would not dare to look you in the face were you a man. It may even be your lot to be confined in some narrow vessel with only stagnant water to quench the maddening thirst that warns of ebbing life.
Oh, brother! An ikebana master should hit him with a stick. Tuttle is not doing the way of tea any favours by keeping this book in print.