Author(s): Gian Carlo Calza
An authoritative and wide-ranging visual essay on the aesthetics of Japan, now in a beautiful paperback edition.
Japan Style, written by one of the world's most respected scholars of Japanese art and culture, defines what 'Japan style' is. It explores specific achievements in Japanese art and architecture, but also offers an in-depth analysis of the whole of Japanese culture, its vision of the world and of humankind. 'Japan style' is something recognizable to everyone: a beautifully arranged flower, an elegant piece of calligraphy or a simple rock garden, but it is also something that is very difficult to define.
The book is divided into three main sections. In the first one ('Irregular Beauty'), the author delineates the different aspects of Japanese culture and draws interesting connections between art, architecture, religion, philosophy and mythology. For example, he explains the aesthetics of the tea ceremony and its relationship to Zen philosophy as well as other subjects such as the function of the void in mythology, Buddhism and the arts.
The second part of the book ('A Feeling of Nature') follows a chronological path from ancient times to the present explaining more specifically how to interpret the different forms of Japanese art (literature, painting, sculpture, etc.).
The third part of the book ('Art Masters') contains short monographs on Japanese masters in the history of Japanese art and culture: Zeami Moto, the creator of No theatre; Hokusai, the master of woodblock printing; Yasunai Kawabata and Mishima Yukio, the writers; and the graphic designer, Tanaka Ikko.
Calza's groundbreaking and insightful text is accompanied by 150 colour images of a great variety of examples from Japanese art and culture.
"images are carefully chosen and beautifully juxtaposed" -IDFX "This poetic book analyses complexities of Japanese style. Instead of straightforward case studies on well-known examples, it tackles underlying aspects of culture with references to Buddhism, mythology, Zen philosophy, architecture and the visual arts. Beautifully illustrated, and far more than just Ando, tea ceremonies and Noh theatre. " -Building Design
Gian Carlo Calza is Professor of East Asian Art History at the University of Venice, and Director of the International Hokusai Research Centre in Milan. He has published many books, exhibition catalogues and articles on Hokusai, and is author of Ukiyo-e and Hokusai, also published by Phaidon. He was awarded the 2004 Uchiyama Prize by the International Ukiyo-e Society of Tokyo for his contribution to the study of Japanese Ukiyo-e ('Floating World') culture.