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Introduction to Japanese Architecture (Periplus Asian Architecture Series) Hardcover – December 15, 2003


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About the Author

Michiko Young conducts culture tours to Japan for those who wish to get off the beaten track. She and her husband David Young live in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. They are the authors of The Art of the Japanese Garden.
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Product Details

  • Series: Periplus Asian Architecture Series
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Periplus Editions (December 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0794601006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0794601003
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Young was born in the United States and spent his childhood in Sierra Leone, West Africa. After obtaining his Ph.D. from Stanford University, he taught anthropology at the University of Alberta in Canada until he retired in 1999 and moved to Japan to continue his teaching career. He has conducted research for many years on health and healing, aesthetics, personality and culture, and anthropology of religion in Japan, Mexico, China, and Canada. He currently is working with a group of people to set up a health centre that will document and preserve the indigenous healing knowledge of indigenous peoples around the world. David and Michiko Young live on the island of Gabriola, off the west coast of Canada. Their web page is www.CoastalTidesPress.com.

Customer Reviews

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Evans on January 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
IF you want 51 more colored photographs, 32 of which are 1- to 2-page spreads, 10 of which are 1/2- to 3/4th-page ones and IF you want what adds up to an additional 3.5 pages of text, THEN you will probably prefer Art of Japanese Architecture, David and Michiko Young's 2007 revision of this book.

If, however, you opt for INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE, you will still get an excellent overview of the entire history of Japanese architecture. Granted, you will not learn, for example, that since this book was written, a particular site is now a National Treasure or that each sliding door handle of a particular mansion bears the design of the imperial chrysanthemum or that the cost of rethatching a roof is now the equivalent of up to half-a million U.S. dollars. But these are mere details, not major revisions.

Nor, if you opt for INTRO, will you be lacking illustrations, for it does have 320, all in color. In fact, with the exception of the added 51 photos, a handful of photos retaken at a different angle and 9 other minor changes, the illustrations are the same as they are in ART.

If you wish more information, please see my review of The Art of Japanese Architecture. I have also included the Table of Contents of both books in the following comment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book the first time I read it a while back, but did not appreciate its breadth until I picked it up again subsequent to a trip made to Japan this past spring.

Being so unfamiliar with Japanese architecture, I was somewhat overcome by Japan's complex architectural history and the intertwining of Japanese, Chinese and Korean religion and culture as influences. Fortunately, I retained some impact from the first reading as I was able to recognize many salient architectural features on my subsequent tour of parts of Japan, remarkably, with the authors David and Michiko Young in person as expert guides.

The book covers the archaeological prehistoric development of Japanese architecture in preparing the reader for that which is still visible and visitable in Japan today.The Youngs illustrate and explain religious and political architecture as seen in shrines and monuments but don't fail to pay attention to domestic and modern architecture. For a small book, it is very well illustrated with colour drawings and photographs and, as I brought the book along on my trip, I found it to give context to he standard travel guides used by tourists.

As a primer, especially before a trip to Japan, I must give this modest tome a "five stars" rating. No frivolous filler here!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While not very technical in nature, the key word to the title is "Introduction". This is a great place to start if you are interested in the subject, and also a great book to have before visiting Japan to get some ideas of things you may want to see. The book is filled with color photos and drawings of the buildings and their intricate details, showing both interiors and exteriors. The book illustrates many examples of shrines, temples, houses, mansions, torii, and castles including a nice drawing depicting Nobunaga's Azuchi which was destroyed by fire during the Warring States. I like this book very much and highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Books focus was mostly on Japanese interior as for a strong intro to japanese Archtiecture. The Religion of Japan was all so hinted at through the interiors
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caretta Erik on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a perfect introduction to the subject: the language is simple, not too technical, there are good pictures and photos and some social and historical background is provided too.
But you wont find any technical drawing here, no plans, no architectural details. So if you are looking for a good book on basic concepts of Japanese architecture this is perfect, but if you already know
something on the subject probably you will prefer a more technical book, where you can find deeper and more precise descriptions of buildings and architectural styles.
Anyway, some pictures are really well done, and I found some paragraphs on Heian and Edo period society very interesting.
In summary, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good book to start a study of Japanese traditional architecture.
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