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Let There Be Shadows! I feel like one of the original translato
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I feel like one of the original translators trying to describe “In Praise of Shadows.” Junichiro Tanizaki wrote this paean for a fading way of life in 1933, and it was later translated to English in 1977 – quite well I must say. I can’t imagine it was easy though, because the Western and Eastern cultures are so different. This book sensitized me to how our different cultures use light and the role shadows play in the beauty of architecture and everyday objects.
Although it has been eighty years since this essay was first written, the words of this “ecological prophet” are still insightful and relevant to today’s issues of modernity and culture. Japan is now one of the most modern countries in the world, particularly of the Far East, and they still have not abandoned its heritage. In fact, there is a fantastic book called Sacred Calligraphy, that I just finished which presents the history and contemporary synthesis of this honored tradition.
I would highly recommend this book for the person who is nostalgic and traditional. Today when technology advances put smartphones out of style in mere months, many of my friends are dreaming of the days of typewriters. I think they would find this book fascinating because it recalls the beauty of simpler times without being a jeremiad.