An ancient cherry tree trails its blossoms in a stream running through Kyoto's historic pleasure quarters. The glow of a charcoal fire in a sunken hearth enhances the simple serenity of the tea ceremony. The blaze of autumn's maple leaves hangs above the velvet green of a moss garden.
These classic images only hint at the story of the seasons in Japan. Nature is not just admired; it is incorporated into every aspect of life, from festivals and the fine arts to the design of homes and the arrangement of seasonal delicacies at the table. The splendors of the landscape have shaped the ancient culture and ongoing traditions of modern Japan.
Here, gathered in one opulent volume, are more than 250 full-color photographs carefully culled from thousands of choices. An eloquent foreword by His Imperial Highness Prince Takamado, a connoisseur of the arts. opens this volume and is followed by a series of insightful essays by some of the most respected British and American experts on Japan, including C. W. Nicol, Diane Durston. and John Bester.
In Japan, the appreciation of beauty is often a matter of the careful observation of those things that "simply lie before one's eyes." Sojourners to Japan and armchair travelers alike will find new aspects of this beauty to appreciate in the lush photographs and thoughtful commentary that fill these pages. Genuinely informative and visually stunning, Japan: The Cycle of Life is not only a feast for the eyes but a well-placed window on a different way of life.