From the busy streets of Tokyo to the secluded shores of Kyushu, from the volcanoes of Hokkaido to the temples of Kyoto, the treasured landscapes of Japan are brought to life in this concise visual guide. Drawing upon years of observation, Cotton Mather, P.P. Karan, and Shigeru Iijima explore the complex interaction of culture, time, and space in the evolution of landscapes in Japan. The authors begin with a discussion of the landscape's general characteristics, including paucity of idle land, scarcity of level land, and its meticulous organization and immaculate nature. They then apply those characteristics to such favorite subjects as home gardens, sculpted plants, and flower arrangements, but also to more mundane matters such as roadside shoulders, utility lines, and walled urban areas. This unique blending of physical and social sciences with humanities perspectives offers a unified analysis of the Japanese landscape.
"The comparison of current landscapes with what might be called traditional landscapes is instructive in a much larger context." -- Allen G. Noble
"An elegantly produced short book, of which about half is taken up by a series of black and white photographs of the Japanese landscapes." -- Geographical Journal
"Puts Japan's renowned urbanization within a broader cultural and national context." -- Journal of Urban Design
"Will provide a valuable starting point for the study of Japanese landscape." -- Landscape Research
"A large part of the enjoyment of this book comes from the chance to compare notes with the authors about what is essential in Japan's landscape, and to engage them in a quiet, one-sided debate while reading." -- Pacific Affairs
"The book excels in explaining and categorizing the faces of Japan through physical environmental constraints interwoven with cultural attitudes." -- Todd Stradford
"The authors draw on years of observation and experience to explore the interaction of culture, time and space in the Japanese landscape." -- UK News