Item description for Seeing Japan by Charles Whipple & Morihiro Hosokawa...
A gloriously illustrated introduction to Japan today. Seeing Japan showcases the best of the country today with lavish, full-color photographs and lively text. Introduced here is everything from the natural beauty of the landscape to the everpopular traditional arts and customs, as well as the high technology for which Japan is renowned the world over. The islands of Japan form a crescent stretching from a subtropical twenty-four degrees north latitude to a subarctic forty-five degrees, the same range as from the state of Florida on the east coast of North America all the way up to Nova Scotia in Canada. Part I presents the tremendous range of landscapes and customs in the various regions of this extensive area, while Part II looks at the arts and traditions uniques to Japan that have developed over its long history. Part III gives essential background information on the country's history, language, and people. Seeing Japan is a wonderful primer for visitors, a cherished souvenir-and indeed a must for anyone with an interest in this fascinating country.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 9" Height: 11.75" Weight: 2 lbs.
Release Date Sep 15, 2005
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770023375 ISBN13 9784770023377
Availability 0 units.
More About Charles Whipple & Morihiro Hosokawa
Charles Whipple is the author of the novel Vulture Gold, as well as of four books in Japanese. His articles on Japan and things Japanese have appeared in magazines and newspapers in more than a dozen countries. Born in Arizona, he studied Japanese history at the University of Hawaii. He has lived in Japan for over thirty years.
Reviews - What do customers think about Seeing Japan?
Seeing Japan Jan 1, 2008
This book was given as a gift to a person who will be traveling to Japan this year. He briefly scanned the book and seemed happy with it. I know after the holidays are over, he will totally go page by page. He is an artist and I know he will appreciate the photography throughout.
not bad for its purpose--whatever that may be Mar 3, 2007
I almost fainted when I read in Zack Davisson's review, "There is no stray shot of the spider's web of powerlines that covers the country, obscuring almost all scenes of beauty." I thought I was the only person in the universe who had ever made that observation about the stark difference between the incredible natural beauty one sees on posters and in coffee-table books and the real Japan you find before your eyes and under your feet.
(You know what observation Mr. Davisson forgot to make? The fact that there's no such thing as zoning: you'll find a Disneyland next to a farm next to a cemetery, without so much as a tree to separate the one from the other. Well, that, plus the ceaseless flow of "suburbs": on the 300-plus-mile bullet-train run from Tokyo to Kyoto, we could scarcely discern a single patch of green--although we did find 30-story skyscrapers out in the middle of nowhere [!]--plus one of the ugliest hamlets I've seen in my life, with a mountaintop sign proudly [and most ironically] proclaiming in kanji, "Chrysanthemum River Ward" [Kikkawa-Gu].)
The memory that will always stick foremost in my consciousness is of the young guy who scuttled down the street slapping adhesive prostitutes' business cards (I guess they're "business labels," then) wherever they'd fit: on a lamppost; on a newspaper vending machine; on a postbox; even on a manhole cover (in Japan, those are quaint, sometimes bearing mosaic cartoons of firemen in samurai regalia).
I have more books on Japan and Japanese and Japanese culture and Japanese mythology and Japanese history than I care to recount, but this title just really didn't add anything to it. Too, too bad.
Japan of my Dreams Jul 11, 2006
Wow, this is one beautiful book. All of the considerable beauty of the island nation of Japan has been sought out, carefully selected, and elegantly photographed to be even more stunning than it is in real life. There is quite a sweeping range of images here, from the lavender fields and Snow Festival of Hokkaido, to the ancient temples of Nara and Kyoto, all the way to the high technology of the ASIMO robot and the mag-lev Bullet Train. This is the kind of book that makes me really want to go to Japan, even though I live there.
"Seeing Japan" is not an honest look at Japan, but more of a love-letter or a tourists brochure. There is not anything so much as hinting at a dark corner on this Isle of Wonders. All of the images are radiant and lovely, with the bad parts carefully edited out. There is no stray shot of the spider's web of powerlines that covers the country, obscuring almost all scenes of beauty. The temples contain no element of the loudspeakers that blare away history lessons and advertisements, or the hustle and bustle of the millions of people that are everywhere you go. Looking at this book, one would almost think that Japan was a serene, quiet country, which of course it is not.
And that's OK. There are plenty of other books out there looking at the underbelly of Japan, so it is nice to have one that is pure frosting. Sometimes it is easy to forget what a spectacularly beautiful country Japan is. It takes a photographer's eye to bring out the very best, to showcase the colors and the textures that are so very abundant. It takes someone like Charles Whipple to write the text, a nostalgic guided tour through a country he obviously loves, to inspire one to hunt for this Japan, the Japan of my Dreams.