Traditional Japan Explained

Trends Trends & Culture - September 28th, 2010
Hiroshige

one:

The ‘Japanese bound’ version of this beautiful book is a collector’s dream. Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo is the definitive guide to the historic wood block prints of old Edo. The printing style that originated in the 17th century went on to become the standard representation of Japan in the West. Utagawa Hiroshige was one the last greatest artists of the tradition. Although he worked on many subjects, his masterwork titled 100 Famous Views of Edo is his best known. This classic is a must-buy for anyone interested in Japanese art and culture.

Select international bookstores, ¥5,900.

Annual Events in Japan (Spring-Summer)

two:

This wonderful book clearly teaches the origins of Japan’s ancient traditions with beautifully drawn illustrations. The book is a treasure trove of information for foreign residents of Japan, as well as people studying Japanese culture abroad. The detailed and fun information in volume one lists important historical events and dates that continue to have relevance in modern Japan. If you ever need to answer a question on Japanese life, this is the perfect resource for your bookshelf.

Select international bookstores, ¥2,625.

Annual Events in Japan (Autumn-Winter)

three:

The second volume of Annual Events in Japan picks up where the first left off. Many of Japan’s traditions were absorbed from China as far back as the Nara period. Volume two focuses on the popular and familiar customs of the autumn and winter months, including New Year’s traditions and coming-of-age festivals. Both children and adults will appreciate the book’s wealth of information, especially as Japan’s many autumn festivals approach.

Select international bookstores, ¥2,625.

The 1918 Shikoku Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue

four:

The English translation of Musume Junreiki’s book takes the reader on a journey of the famed Shikoku pilgrimage, now a popular attraction for foreigners visiting Japan. The book collects 105 newspaper articles written by 24-year-old Takamure Itsue in 1918. The pilgrimage is well known to Japanese people, but difficult to access unless you are fluent in the language…until now. Writer Susan Tennant felt so passionately about the incredible story that she decided to translate and self-publish the book, thankfully bringing the vivid account to western audiences.

Select international bookstores and Amazon (www.amazon.com), ¥1,578.

Houses and Gardens of Kyoto

five:

Japan’s imperial capital for more than a millennium, Kyoto is the birthplace of most of what is now considered to be quintessentially Japanese culture. Houses and Gardens of Kyoto introduces a broad array of Kyoto’s traditional houses from every period of the city’s history. Each locale is a fine example of traditional Japanese house and garden design, presented with superb color photographs and authoritative texts.

Select international bookstores, ¥3,900.

All photos courtesy of their respective brands or retailers