This provocative book is a tractate a treatise on beauty in Japanese art, written in the manner of a “zuihitsu, ” a free-ranging assortment of ideas that follow the. THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF FOREIGNERS: The one who visits the holiest zen garden and sees nothing but a dirty pond, a bit of gravel, and. A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics by Donald Richie, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Unlocking the mysteries of Japanese culture | The Japan Times

Although Richie speaks Japanese fluently, he can neither read nor write it. For Japanese, one of the most compelling aspects of beauty is the bitter-sweet awareness that it is only transient and always dies. I wish Richie had further developed his sketch of how certain central aesthetic terms had evolved through time and had provided more of his aptly chosen examples to illustrate this evolution.

Mar 21, Leonard rated it really liked it.

Unlocking the mysteries of Japanese culture

I liked it a lot, yet it seemed like the outline of a larger work. So he was, but when eh arrived all the morning glories were no more; they had all be scythed.

When seeking tractste introduction to an unfamiliar topic, I am wary of two types of books: Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. Tglinsley rated it really liked it May 23, He goes over the main concepts that the Japanese use to appreciate beauty for instance, the Buddhist notion of impermanence is a very strong, almost fundamental, aspect underpinning their thinkingand shows where they differ fundamentally from Western notions.

The Best Books of To heighten this, for him necessary, nonlinearity, he juxtapos Japanee Richie explains tracrate his preface, he has deliberately chosen to write A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics as a zuihitsuthe form in which many influential Japanese chose to address aesthetic matters. A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics is a short work with large implications: Y’know – interviews with the famous.

If I may tentatively use the terms I’ve learned in a fashion that Richie suggests is also tractatr applying them beyond art and to Western concepts tooI would say that the Tractate has a so-no-shin writing style informal formal and a shin-no-so structure formal informal. Stone Bridge Press,79 pp. Deft, spare elucidation for Western audience.


Donald Richie has lived in Japan since the end of World War II and is responsible for a series of illuminating works, including an early survey on Om film. Not really a ‘book’, more of a free-flowing essay on the peculiar nature of the Japanese aesthetic sense.

It is still believed that, although the elements found common to beauty are perhaps universal, it is their reception the universal standard that creates the excellence of the art. He is widely admired for his incisive film studies on Ozu and Kurosawa, and for his stylish and incisive observations on Japanese culture.

Richie covers a lot of details, though this is an eighty-page treatise, not ja;anese textbook or systematic study, so to some it may appear like the structure is haphazard. Exactly where you lie on this continuum will determine how much you appreciate this small book by Donald Richie. The salient features of Japanese culture— wabi sabi”less is more,” Zenism, etc. Among his most noted works on Japan are The Inland Sea, a travel classic, and Trqctate People, Private People, a look at some of Japan’s most significant and most mundane people.

Richie has written the English subtitles for Akira Kurosawa’s films Kagemusha and Dreams [8]. Where can I buy some?

Though the words in the Glossary and my application of them in the previous sentence may give the appearance of simplicity, any simplicity—to use the word deliberately for aeesthetics core relation to wabi and sabi —is deceptive.

Kendall rated it it was ok Oct 30, Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. For those whose aesthetic ideal is found in a perfectly centered clock between two exactly spaced candlesticks on tracctate mantelpiece, and matched porcelain, sets of glasses, or a parterre garden, quite a shift in perceptive gears will be needed. No trivia or quizzes yet. Trzctate from the UK in 2 business days When will my order arrive? Open Preview See a Problem? Recommended to anyone interested.

As Richie explains in his preface, he has deliberately chosen to write A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics as a zuihitsuthe form in which aesghetics influential Japanese chose to address aesthetic matters On my first reading, I was most intrigued by the concept of shin-gyu-so. To heighten this, for him necessary, nonlinearity, he juxtaposes alongside the main text further texts which enrich the reader’s understanding but which he apparently felt that he could not work into the main text in a more organic manner.


A Lateral View and Partial Views. By then he had already published his first work, “Tumblebugs”a short story. Jan 12, Jake Staples rated it really liked it. May 18, Steve added it Shelves: Liddell Metropolis 28th December, aestthetics Donald Richie is the foremost explorer of Japanese culture in English, and this work is the culmination of sixty years of observing and writing from his home in Tokyo.

A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics

Some of the more obscure aesthetic concepts already embedded in Japanese consciousness can be sensed in early poetry, but were only codified during the Muromachi Period with the pervading influence of Zen and the artistic values of the tea ceremony.

Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of The incessant abstraction and japanede of terms by words that are themselves undefined gives great stretches of the book a vague, misty character or, worse still, the feeling of reading a dictionary without the alphabetical organization. Richie in this brief book does an excellent job in explaining where each term fits in the spectrum in relation to others and the world it describes.

Jun 13, Bernardo Kaiser rated it aeshhetics was ok. To be fair to Richie, he seems as much aware of this as anyone else. InRichie first visited Japan with the American occupation force, a job he saw as an opportunity to escape from Lima, Ohio.