Abstractthroughout east and west
the pathos is the same, come
the winds of autumn.
The aura of quiet sadness that accompanies traditional Japanese culture is hard to understand for western
people. Japan was the first among far-eastern countries to enter the globalizing world, so at first the novelties
of Syowa and Heisei eras looked like mockeries of the western style of life. Trendy round-eye surgeries, manga and anime comics, Tokyo skyscrapers and even ights in the Japanese parliament produced a crooked eflection of the western world seen from the East. But soon the attitude changed. The wabi-sabi principles started to penetrate western cultures; the SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan became an example of the loft style; and Frank Gehry built his experimental esidence in Santa Monika of construction debris gathered from the surrounding plots. Gehry became world famous as an explorer of the aesthetics of trash, “junkitecture” and also got a number of claims from his neighbors. At the same time, works of Japanese architects now present the principles of admiration of dilapidation, patina and a subtle play of shades that only time can show in materials.
One of the most significant Japanese writers of the 20th century Tanizaki provided a glimpse of Japanese
aesthetics to the West in his famous essay “In Praise of Shadows”, where he wrote: “As a general matter we
ind it hard to be really at home with things that shine and glitter. The Westerner uses silver and steel and
nickel tableware, and polishes it to a fine brilliance, but we object to the practice… On the contrary, we
begin to enjoy it only when the luster has worn off, when it has begun to take on a dark, smoky patina”.
This issue contains an article by Olga Smirnova that reviews Japanese gardens in London and San
Francisco. To continue publishing the fragments of the book by Georgi Stanishev we propose an interview with Toyo Ito, a world renowned Japanese architect and a keen philosopher.
with people on the other shore
a cold wind
Saito Sanki, Japanese contemporary hokku poet
Japan; east and west; junkitecture; Tokyo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)