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Introduction to Japanese Architecture (Periplus Asian Architecture Series)

by Michiko Kimura Young

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2211,023,085 (4.5)None
This work provides an overview of Japanese architecture in its historical and cultural context. It begins with a discussion of prehistoric dwellings and concludes with a description of contemporary trends in areas as diverse as country inns, underground shopping centres and hotels.
Recently added byThymemaster, Matsyadas, booktsunami
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I must say that I'm very impressed with this little book by Pleriplus editions. It combines a good overall historical treatment of the various styles of Japanese Architecture ...ranging from the pre-ceramic period up to 10,000 years BC and the Jomon period from approximately 10,000 BC to 300 AD.......with lovely diagrams and photographs. And, the text is good too; focussed and relevant. Overall quite a useful reference book. Some interesting material there that I was unaware of. For example, on p31 there is an explanation of how the Japanese pagoda really evolved from the Indian Stupa. I've had the advantage of visiting many of the ancient capitals and castles in Japan and it's really interesting to me to read about some of the history and construction details behind the buildings. In Asuka, for example, I recall that there wasn't much left standing above ground. Just a few foundation stones but the book has pictures of a model from the Osaka museum of one of the earliest temples in Asuka. And there are many other models of structures long disappeared.....re-created from plans which have survived. (The Asuka period was comparatively short...from 538-645 AD).
There is a clear focus on "traditional" Japanese architecture....especially temple, shrine, castle, and great houses. And maybe one could be mildly critical of the fact that modern architecture ...especially modern domestic architecture gets short shrift. A couple of pages are devoted to massive modern buildings such as the twin towers of Umeda Sky Building in Osaka (and yep...I've been there and the view is great)...but, I guess, this was not a book about modern Japanese Architecture. There are plenty of those around.
I really like the book. Happy to give it five stars. ( )
  booktsunami | Oct 24, 2022 |
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This work provides an overview of Japanese architecture in its historical and cultural context. It begins with a discussion of prehistoric dwellings and concludes with a description of contemporary trends in areas as diverse as country inns, underground shopping centres and hotels.

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