One tends to forget the simplicity and beauty of the traditional way of Japanese life, when meals came direct from the land or sea, when clothes were made at home after the day's labors were done, and when utensils and even homes were crafted from materials that were close at hand.
Japan Country Living: Spirit, Tradition, Style is the perfect antidote to city living--whether the city is Tokyo, New York, or anywhere in between. With more than 450 color photos, this book serves as a visual monument to a disappearing way of life and as a resource for those wanting to capture the flavor of Japan at its best. Author Amy Sylvester Katoh and photographer Shin Kimura provide plenty of fodder for décor daydreams, showcasing antique textiles and ceramics; examples of lighting; indoor and outdoor baths; the use of natural materials such as straw, wood, and stone; glorious food arrangements; and even a few recipes in this beautifully produced volume. You probably don't want a thatched roof or straw mats for your home, but be warned: after you've added a soft paper lantern, a wooden rack for displaying antique bowls, or a gleaming tansu chest, you may not be able to stop. --Jhana Bach
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