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10 Reviews
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected delight
I am not an architect, nor am I Japanese, but I have lived in Japan and love Japanese-style rooms. I picked this book up merely because I was interested in the topic, and thought I'd get just a dry description and maybe some floor plans. Was I wrong! This book is a delight, not merely for the content-- which is a thorough introduction to the pieces of the Japanese house...
Published on November 24, 2001 by Cynthia

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Educational than decorative use
Bought the book thinking it would show ideas on how to decorate with Japanese furniture and art. All the pictures are in Black and White. Gives more information on "What a Japanese house is", then decorating ideas.
Published on March 25, 2007 by Cal in Japan


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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected delight, November 24, 2001
By 
Cynthia "MmeCyn" (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
I am not an architect, nor am I Japanese, but I have lived in Japan and love Japanese-style rooms. I picked this book up merely because I was interested in the topic, and thought I'd get just a dry description and maybe some floor plans. Was I wrong! This book is a delight, not merely for the content-- which is a thorough introduction to the pieces of the Japanese house and the 'why' behind them-- but also for the social comment the author makes about various facets of the lives of the people who live in these houses. Ueda's opinion comes through clearly, but that's what makes this book such a good read (his solution to the unslightly-futons-on-the-balcony problem had us in stitches, and his bad attitude toward flat roofs is a riot). He starts with the base of the house (the pillars) and works all the way out to the locks on the door. He's got a nice sense of history, and you can tell he himself is very fond of the traditional house. A delightful read!
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly of Japanese Architecture, March 14, 2005
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This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
The original title in japanese was "The Japanese and the house" and that should have been the English title. Don't expect a sales-advertisement trying to sell you japanese architecture as the world's most perfect, showing you only the most perfect examples, like most books on the subject do; this book was written by a Japanese for the Japanese, so it's not trying to fool anyone. Instead, it addresses the good, the bad and the (very) ugly of Japanese architecture in the 1970s, and gives a lot of recommendations for future development. In this sense, this book feels a lot like "A Pattern Language", from Christopher Alexander.

I finished this book in a weekend. Unlike many other translated books on Japanese architecture, it is written in clear English and talks about daily life issues anyone can understand, and does it with a good (sometimes hilarious) sense of humor. It does not go high on insipid philosophical discussions, but goes deep into the roots of current day virtues and vices of Japanese architecture.

Don't expect color photographs, floor plans or sections; this books was not illustrated by the author, but by the editor. The original work is text-only. Even if it were to be stripped from the b/w photos it has, it is still a very entertaining book, that reads almost like a novel, and will make you learn a lot of things about the realities and problems of Japan while having some good laughs. It's really refreshing to find a book on architecture that talks about real life needs instead of difficult-to-understand philosophical concepts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bible of Traditional Japanese Home Architecture, December 3, 2007
This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
On of the few architectural books that is actually a pleasure to read, simple and direct, explains with no fuss the characteristics of a Japanese Home. This book is indeed a Bible on the understanding of the Japanese architecture's historical evolution. This book would be almost perfect if it had better pictures and more examples, all photos are black and white, and very few. In spite of the lack and quality of images, the book is a pleasure to read, let's hope the editors reconsider their inclusion of more examples for a future re-editions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Book, June 3, 2009
This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
While the photos are all b/w, The Japanese House offers a great survey of traditional Japanese architecture from temples to pagodas to houses and mansions. The book covers all the various details like floors & roofs, walls & verandas, shoji & tatami, etc. Ueda's writing is filled with good examples and details and is very enjoyable; his passion for the Japanese home is evident throughout. This is not just a book about houses, it is also a very interesting cultural survey of Japan. I enjoyed this book very much.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House/, March 13, 2007
By 
Diana Vanvleet "Luna" (Leesburg, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
What a fascinating book. I bought it because I am interested in Japanese architecture, but found so much more. The reasons and explanations of the construction gave me a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

I liked the book so well that I bought it for my daughter, who is also a

lover of Japan.

Diana Van Vleet
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is great!, April 8, 2004
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This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
I am writing my own book, set in the traditional Japan. This books is a marvelous help in getting the feel of the place and period with which I am working. I don't know how I could get along without this book!
It presents its information in a clear, concise manner that is easy for me to understand, and the pictures really give you a feel not just for the house, but for the mindset of the people who live there. I recommend this book to anyone studying the Japanese culture.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but from 1974, December 5, 2010
By 
Jackal (New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
This is a book about traditional Japanese architecture of private houses. The book was originally written in Japanese in 1974 so it is a bit dated. If you want a 200 page introduction in a serious manner (but without being written for architects) you should buy this book. The approach is somewhat anthropological, i.e. to understand how the houses actually were used and designed. The main drawback is that the photos are in black and white.

Don't buy this book if you're interested in interior design.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Educational than decorative use, March 25, 2007
By 
Cal in Japan (Yokosuka, Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
Bought the book thinking it would show ideas on how to decorate with Japanese furniture and art. All the pictures are in Black and White. Gives more information on "What a Japanese house is", then decorating ideas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Love this Book, October 29, 2014
By 
G3 Systems, Inc. (Blacksburg, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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Great Reference
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House, December 11, 2007
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This review is from: The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House (Perfect Paperback)
Badly written, disorganized, minimally illustrated, far less poetic than the subject matter. More historical than harmonious.
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The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House
The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House by Atsushi Ueda (Perfect Paperback - October 20, 1998)
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