Japanscapes: Three Cameras, Three Journeys

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9784770028761: Japanscapes: Three Cameras, Three Journeys
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JAPAN IS A PLACE OF BEAUTY AND MYSTERY.

It is also a land where the modern and the ancestral combine in endlessly fascinating patterns. Through the creative camera work of three consummate photographers, Japanscapes sets out to explore this country of startling contrasts.

American Ben Simmons captures the postmodern Blade Runner chic of urban Japan in a way rarely encountered on color film. With an uncanny eye for urban scenery and the fleeting shutter chance, Simmons' catches the colors of Japan's cities, the vibrancy of its architectural monuments, and the candid episodes in its citizen's lives.

British native Johnny Hymas gently unveils the understated elegance of the Japanese countryside. His three-decade love affair with the landscapes of rural Japan has led him to nearly every corner of the country. He portrays nature at its serene and dignified best (the silvery waters of the East China Sea, long-legged herons fishing at daybreak), and his unstinting affection for the ways of the farmers and fishermen as they work the heartlands and coastal waters is apparent in every shot.

Slovenian Gorazd Vilhar focuses on Japan's spiritual legacy. He has sought out the sites of centuries-old practices, often gaining entrance to rituals and celebrations few outsiders have a chance to see. His images capture the measured rhythms of Shinto and Buddhist customs and record the artful refinement of Zen gardens, traditional architecture, geisha in the Gion, and other aspects of old Japan the inquisitive visitor may still glimpse today.

Complementing this grand photo-journey is the informed commentary of three expatriate writers. Noted architect and artist Azby Brown contributes a penetrating introduction on the art of unearthing the real Japan. Reporter Lucille M. Craft provides a lyrical look at city life today, and author Charlotte Anderson rounds out the volume with a captivating overview of Japan's cultural traditions. In its images and insights, Japanscapes offers a refreshingly new take on why Japan remains one of the most intriguing countries in the world.

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About the Author:


Born in Columbus, Georgia, BEN SIMMONS is a photography instructor turned professional photographer. Long based in Tokyo, his work has been published in magazines worldwide and collected in several books. His publications include Introducing Tokyo and Tokyo Desire, a look at the many layers of life in Japan's largest city. Simmons arrived in Japan in 1982.

JOHNNY HYMAS was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1934. While touring the globe as a professional gymnast, he developed an interest in photography and eventually settled in Japan, which he considers a "landscape photographer's paradise." Hymas's work has appeared in magazines and calendars around the world and has been collected in over fifteen books, including the perennial best-seller Japan: The Four Seasons; Japan: The Living Gardens; and Tambo: The Sacred Fields, for which he received an award from the Iwate Prefectural government. A multimedia CD/video version of his Japan: The Four Seasons was awarded the High Vision Grand Prix from the International Audio-Visual Association.

GORAZS VILHAR was born in Slovenia and holds a degree in art history from the University of Ljubljana. His photographs have been published in travel, culture, and lifestyle magazines around the world. Together with his wife, writer Charlotte Anderson, he has published three books, among them Kyoto: A Cultural Sojourn and Gracious Gifts: Japan's Sacred Offerings. Vilhar moved to Japan in 1985, and has exhibited his work in galleries in Japan and Europe. At an international exhibition sponsored by Konica, his images of traditional Japanese culture were selected for innovative interpretations of the traditional Japanese folding screen.

A native of suburban Washington, D.C., LUCILLE M. CRAFT has lived and worked in Tokyo for twenty years, mostly as a producer and reporter for public radio and television news programs in the United States. She occasionally contributes freelance articles to publications in Japan and abroad. In 1998, she founded the Kuril Island Network, a small nonprofit conservation group dedicated to protecting wilderness on the borders of Russia and Japan.

CHARLOTTE ANDERSON earned a degree in women's studies from the University of Utah and did graduate work in cultural anthropology as a Fulbright Scholar in Slovenia before turning to writing on Japanese and world culture. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines, often accompanied by the work of her photographer-husband Gorazd Vilhar. Their partnership has also produced three collaborative volumes, including Matsuri: World of Japanese Festivals.

AZBY BROWN is an architect and artist who writes extensively about the arts in Japan. A native of New Orleans with degrees from Yale College and Tokyo University, he has lived in Japan since 1985, and is presently Associate Professor of Architecture at Kanazawa Institute of Technology. His three books-The Genius of Japanese Carpentry, Small Spaces, and The Very Small Home-are available from Kodansha International.

Review:

"Three different photographers provide their unique views of Japan, resulting in landscapes, depictions of urban life and the spiritual icons of the culture." -Outdoor Photographer"Stunning.... The fact that this work is by well-informed outsiders rather than by Japanese makes it more accessible to westerners, for the commentators seem to have a good sense of what might be unclear to those unfamiliar with the country. And Japanscapes is certainly a gorgeous introduction." -bookloons.com (Online)"Sumptuous. ...Durston weaves together local lore and historical sites to create a panoply of provocative walking tours that take the reader back in time to the elegance of earlier days." -Nikkei West" 'Not more coffee-table books!' I hear you cry. Well, yes, in the sense 'Kyoto' and 'Japanscapes' are large full-color books stuffed with more photography than information, but 'no' because these books are actually worth more time than it takes to down an espresso." -The Japan Times"The mother of all photobooks on contemporary 'Japan'." -The Daily Yomiuri"This is a sumptuous volume both for photo lovers and those wishing to get behind some of the stereotypical images of Japanese life. ...Japanscapes offers a tessellated, pulsating glimpse of a country that remains an important trend-setter and cultural icon for the rest of the world." -JapanVisitor.com (online) "Three different photographers provide their unique views of Japan, resulting in landscapes, depictions of urban life and the spiritual icons of the culture." -Outdoor Photographer "Stunning.... The fact that this work is by well-informed outsiders rather than by Japanese makes it more accessible to westerners, for the commentators seem to have a good sense of what might be unclear to those unfamiliar with the country. And Japanscapes is certainly a gorgeous introduction." -bookloons.com (Online) "Sumptuous. ...Durston weaves together local lore and historical sites to create a panoply of provocative walking tours that take the reader back in time to the elegance of earlier days." -Nikkei West" 'Not more coffee-table books!' I hear you cry. Well, yes, in the sense 'Kyoto' and 'Japanscapes' are large full-color books stuffed with more photography than information, but 'no' because these books are actually worth more time than it takes to down an espresso." -The Japan Times "The mother of all photobooks on contemporary 'Japan'." -The Daily Yomiuri "This is a sumptuous volume both for photo lovers and those wishing to get behind some of the stereotypical images of Japanese life. ...Japanscapes offers a tessellated, pulsating glimpse of a country that remains an important trend-setter and cultural icon for the rest of the world." -JapanVisitor.com (online) "Three different photographers provide their unique views of Japan, resulting in landscapes, depictions of urban life and the spiritual icons of the culture." -Outdoor Photographer "Stunning.... The fact that this work is by well-informed outsiders rather than by Japanese makes it more accessible to westerners, for the commentators seem to have a good sense of what might be unclear to those unfamiliar with the country. And Japanscapes is certainly a gorgeous introduction." -bookloons.com (Online) "Sumptuous. ...Durston weaves together local lore and historical sites to create a panoply of provocative walking tours that take the reader back in time to the elegance of earlier days." -Nikkei West " 'Not more coffee-table books!' I hear you cry. Well, yes, in the sense 'Kyoto' and 'Japanscapes' are large full-color books stuffed with more photography than information, but 'no' because these books are actually worth more time than it takes to down an espresso." -The Japan Times "The mother of all photobooks on contemporary 'Japan'." -The Daily Yomiuri "This is a sumptuous volume both for photo lovers and those wishing to get behind some of the stereotypical images of Japanese life. ...Japanscapes offers a tessellated, pulsating glimpse of a country that remains an important trend-setter and cultural icon for the rest of the world." -JapanVisitor.com (online) "Three different photographers provide their unique views of Japan, resulting in landscapes, depictions of urban life and the spiritual icons of the culture." -Outdoor Photographer"Stunning.... The fact that this work is by well-informed outsiders rather than by Japanese makes it more accessible to westerners, for the commentators seem to have a good sense of what might be unclear to those unfamiliar with the country. And Japanscapes is certainly a gorgeous introduction."-bookloons.com (Online)"Sumptuous. ...Durston weaves together local lore and historical sites to create a panoply of provocative walking tours that take the reader back in time to the elegance of earlier days." -Nikkei West" 'Not more coffee-table books!' I hear you cry. Well, yes, in the sense 'Kyoto' and 'Japanscapes' are large full-color books stuffed with more photography than information, but 'no' because these books are actually worth more time than it takes to down an espresso." -The Japan Times"The mother of all photobooks on contemporary 'Japan'." -The Daily Yomiuri"This is a sumptuous volume both for photo lovers and those wishing to get behind some of the stereotypical images of Japanese life. ...Japanscapes offers a tessellated, pulsating glimpse of a country that remains an important trend-setter and cultural icon for the rest of the world."-JapanVisitor.com (online)

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