Japanese shadows


10 October 2014
Japanese shadows

For anyone interested in Japan, I recommend reading “In Praise of Shadows” by Junichiro Tanizaki. The author invites us not to view Japan through western eyes, but to take a wider perspective on what we call technical progress. He teaches us, beautifully, to look at the interior of a house. He talks about rays of sunshine that we in the West love to allow into our homes, while in Japan, they filter the light. This gives it a diffuse quality, rather than flooding everything with its intensity. It creates shadows, and gives things and people intimacy and mystery.

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