Tenshin, Okakura (1863–1913) By Kazuhara, Eve Loh
Okakura Tenshin, also known as Okakura Kakuzô, was a Japanese scholar and writer whose major works include The Ideals of the East with Special Reference to the Art of Japan (1903), The Awakening of Japan (1904), and The Book of Tea (1906). Tenshin studied at the Tokyo Imperial University (now known as the University of Tokyo), where he graduated and wrote his thesis titled ‘On Art’ in 1880.
In his early career as a government official, Tenshin was instrumental to the reorganisation of art education policies. Together with Ernest Fenollosa (1853–1908), who taught philosophy at the Imperial University, they championed a revivalist movement of traditional Japanese arts in the face of intense Westernisation.