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Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings (Dover Architecture) Paperback – June 1, 1961
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His study ranges from the historical origins of Japanese architecture to covering room floorplans, as has become a staple in introducing Japanese tatami mat rooms since he first wrote this book in the 1886, to lavishing minute attention to the details of various crafts that made the Japanese interior design accessories touchstones of excellence throughout the world. He also provides intimate vignettes of individual design principles, items, materials, and construction utilized throughout Japanese houses, rooms, and tea rooms.
His ability to translate the often fleeting impression of a space into precise identifiable elements makes him a valuable guide to this deceptively simple-looking style of interior design whose rigorous structure and aesthetic guidelines make it one of the great design styles of history. The extensive etchings included in the book provide concise, delightful, and sometimes humorous examples of the principles applied.Read more ›
Trained as a Zoologist, Morse put his scientific powers of observation and systematic description to work during the 1880's in producing the sketches and text that describes a world of everyday Japanese design right before it was swamped with Western influence and largely disappeared. There are plenty of books that can show you pictures of ancient Japanese temples and teahouses, but what about the method of constructing the roof of an ordinary 19th century Tokyo home? This was stuff that few people thought was worth recording for posterity. Which is why Morse's book is so unique and valuable to us.
Anyone with more than a passing interest in the way that things are built or designed would do well to put this book on their shelf. Interior decorators, architects, DIY types (such as myself), finish carpenters, contractors and furniture makers should all have a tattered, dog-eared copy of 'Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings' within easy reach. It is a constant source of inspiration.
Best of all, it's a Dover book and cheap.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read this book a number of times and given it away a few times as well. This time to a young student of Japanese. A look through time, culture and acceptance.Published 5 months ago by richard lovrich
This is an excellent reference work about traditional Japanese houses. One can get a lot of ideas by looking through it.Published 11 months ago by Ektarama
This is mildly interesting for researchers, architects and historians but the lay reader would find it very boring. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gromer
A nice companion book to others, such as "The Japanese Bath", by Bruce Smith. This Dover edition is a reprint of a book written in the 1880's, and so giving a truly... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rich
one marvelous look at Japanese life and the marvelous way they had of putting things together !
Five stars for the content, 3 stars for the poor quality of the scanned pages in my copy, sonsplit the difference for a 4 star score. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Sibylla