Item description for How to Take a Japanese Bath by Leonard Koren & Suehiro Maruo...
"This book is a physical work of art-as it should be, because the Japanese bath is an aesthetic event."-Whole Earth Review
Since its first publication in 1992, this book has become a curious classic, taking a -simple (yet often incorrectly performed) activity and depicting it with a graphic, manga-style edge. In twelve drawings a young Japanese man is shown preparing, rinsing, soaking, communing, relaxing, contemplating-all an encouragement to readers to slow down, ease into the hot water, and enjoy this timeless ritual of purity and release.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 6.75" Weight: 0.15 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
Publisher Stone Bridge Press
ISBN 1933330082 ISBN13 9781933330082
Availability 0 units.
More About Leonard Koren & Suehiro Maruo
Leonard Koren, trained as an artist and architect, writes books about design and aesthetics.
Reviews - What do customers think about How to Take a Japanese Bath?
An excellent and necessary handbook! May 17, 2007
I'll never forget the first time I went into a sento in Japan, mainly because it was an unqualified disaster. I had no idea what I was doing, and had no one to show me what to do. I tried my best to watch the other bathers to see what they were doing, but staring at a bunch of naked guys isn't exactly the best way to go. The worst part was that I didn't know enough to bring along my privacy towel. You have no idea how much that little piece of cloth matters when everyone else has one, and you don't. Oh, how I wish I had had this book beforehand!
"How to Take a Japanese Bath" is a simple guide, only 40 pages or so. Because of the fantastic illustrations, it is more like a manga than a book. Inside the rules of the bath are laid out in twelve simple steps, in an easy-going tone that doesn't talk down to you or lecture. It is pretty simple, if someone explains it to you as well as author Leonard Koren does here. In the back is a short overview of the history of bathing culture in Japan, and some basic Japanese phrases and kanji to help you navigate. It is, in short, everything you need to have a better experience than I did.
The illustrations are what really set this apart from being just a pamphlet. I have to wonder what editor selected Suehiro Maruo, a successful contemporary artist best known for his violent and somewhat disturbing artwork, to illustrate this pleasant little guide to a peaceful and relaxing pastime. Imagine going to Japan and finding a guide to eating a hamburger, illustrated by Clive Barker, and that is what you are getting.
For the niche audience Mar 13, 2007
Short and well illustrated, a good primer but definitely overpriced. Look for used if possible or else borrow a copy and read.
Informative and Enjoyable, both for Japanese & Non-Japanese Nov 13, 2001
As a Japanese, I find this small book to be very accurate and informative. The procedure and the idea behind Japanese bath taking is clearly explained, without the oft-found orientalism. This is exactly the bath taking manners that our parents teach their kids (well, at least they are supposed to).
Another great point about this booklet is the artist, Maruo. He is the Dario Argento of Japanese comics, known for his extremely detailed and beautiful drawings of the grotesque. In this book, you'll find a lot of very pleasant drawings about Japanese bath taking, but to the people who are used to his normal works, you sort of expect some blood, gore, beheadings and freakshows that are Maruo's signature themes at every turn of the page. Whether that expectation was satisfied was... I'll leave it up to you to find out.
Highly reccomended. Informative to non-Japanese (and the younger generation Japanese --- you kids have no idea how to properly take a bath these days, shame on you), and enjoyable to Japanese.
An exceptional aesthetic experience. Apr 23, 2001
On a whim I bought this book for my fifteen-year-old daughter who is about to leave for Japan on an exchange student program. Our whole family delighted in the beautiful, gentle, and insightful explanation of this paramount of Japanese experiences. So clear, so charming, we could almost feel the sensory effects of this wonderful institution.
This book is like a beautiful poem Aug 12, 2000
Though this book has few words, it conveys the sense of the Japanese bath and bath ritual with exquisite illustration and word images. There is no other book I have found that deals with this subject matter in such a poetic, thorough, yet unsentimental manner. It was especially useful prior to my first visit to Japan. It helped make sense of a simple but somewhat mystifying cultural tradition.