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Books > Arts & Photography > Decorative Arts & Design > 1568985401
  1. A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    A Year in Japan
    Image(s) provided for illustrative purposes and may differ from the actual product
  2. A Year in Japan

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (57 reviews)
    Price R373.00

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Made in Japan
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The Land of the Rising Sun is shining brightly across the American cultural landscape. Recent films such as Lost in Translation and Memoirs of a Geisha seem to have made everyone an expert on Japan, even if they've never been there. But the only way for a Westerner to get to know the real Japan is to become a part of it. Kate T. Williamson did just that, spending a year experiencing, studying, and reflecting on her adopted home. She brings her keen observations to us in A Year in Japan, a dramatically different look at a delightfully different way of life.

Avoiding the usual clichés--Japan's polite society, its unusual fashion trends, its crowded subways--Williamson focuses on some lesser-known aspects of the country and culture. In stunning watercolors and piquant texts, she explains the terms used to order various amounts of tofu, the electric rugs found in many Japanese homes, and how to distinguish a maiko from a geisha. She observes sumo wrestlers in traditional garb as they use ATMs, the wonders of "Santaful World" at a Kyoto department store, and the temple carpenters who spend each Sunday dancing to rockabilly. A Year in Japan is a colorful journey to the beauty, poetry, and quirkiness of modern Japana book not just to look at but to experience.

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Kate T. Williamson
Princeton Architectural Press
Princeton Architectural Press
Princeton Architectural Press
Princeton Architectural Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

It's actually an interesting exercise to compare this colorful journal with Karin Muller's recent "Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa". Whereas Muller approaches her sojourn as an almost anthropological expedition, author-artist Kate Williamson takes a decidedly more visual approach based on her own yearlong stay in Kyoto where she was studying, of all things, sock design. What sets apart Williamson's book are the bright watercolor illustrations that depict somewhat random aspects of Japanese life and culture. They show a sharp eye for authenticity and concurrently a sense of playfulness that reinforces the allure of Japan to the foreigner's eye.

She is fascinated by the famous wedded rocks at Meoto-Iwa, the patterns on washcloths, the colors available for backpacks, the foam cozies around apples, the difference in accessories between maiko girls and geishas, the everyday dress of sumo wrestlers, and the delicacies in a bento box. Luckily so am I. In between the pictures are... Read more
It is a great pleasure to be able to casually open A YEAR IN JAPAN, which stays next to my desk, and find a page by chance. On any given day, I might see a lovely two-page spread of maple leaves; an absorbing story (one of my favorites) in the author's fine print/cursive mix about her task of carefully tracing out the characters of a sutra in order to gain admittance to the Moss Temple; a tempting diagram of "sweets made especially for moon viewing"; an account of GUYS AND DOLLS performed by an all-female, Japanese cast; an illustration of a very comforting view from the inside of a Japanese taxi.

Every page is a pleasant portal into a world other than my own. The book is built loosely around the seasons and their shifting, and is thus also exciting as a work to be read through from front cover to back. Occasional references to the seasons provide an anchor for the reader, for example, you find out how traditional Japanese sweets have a specific shape and flavor in... Read more
Even before looking inside A Year in Japan, the fold-out back and front covers are wonders to behold. They contain smaller versions of the colourful interior illustrations and list topics that could be prompts for poems: Plum Blossoms, Signature Songs, Elegant Taxis, Electric Rugs, Indigo Fireflies, Lunch with a Geisha.

Kate T. Williamson designed and illustrated her book as well as wrote a journal of her year in Kyoto, Japan. She was enamoured with Japanese customs and objects (like apples in foam cozies and mangos impaled on chopsticks to make less-sticky eating) and created a book to celebrate them.

Williamson, who lives in New York City, studied filmmaking at Harvard University. Her love of travel and interest in sock design, along with a postgraduate fellowship, took her to Kyoto. For a year, she filled journals with her thoughts and sketches.

While reading of Williamson's discoveries during her year of noticing, I was reminded of Natalie Goldberg... Read more
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