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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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Donald Richie looks at how perceptual values in Japan were drawn from raw nature and then modified by elegant expressions Stagnation, however, is no longer an option-not in our volatile times.

Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days When will my order arrive? We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. Overall, this would interest anyone who needs to learn a bit about Japanese aesthetics obviously.

Kendall rated it it was ok Oct 30, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. He is widely admired for his incisive film studies on Ozu and Kurosawa, and for his stylish and incisive observations on Japanese culture. Carl Barat, musician 2 years ago. Mar 08, Powersamurai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Ben rated it really liked it Apr 05, In one of the many small boxes that pepper the main text, Richie writes that “[Japanese aesthetics] still serve to separate status and class.

Not really a ‘book’, more of a free-flowing essay on the peculiar nature of the Japanese aesthetic sense.

It isn’t laborious, but it certainly isn’t a “stocking-stuffer. I do think he is g As a rule, Sesthetics dislike rating non-fiction books. I had been interested in how the Japanese view beauty, because I found that some of their concepts iki, wabi-sabi etc accorded to omething close to my own tastes, and was eager to find out more.


Donald Richie looks at how perceptual values in Japan were drawn from raw nature and then modified by elegant expressions of class and taste. On the downside, the book’s organization is a bit lousy ; random fragments of haiku pop up out of nowhere and disrupt the flow.

Other than that, I found this a great intro to a subject that I am not familiar with, and his theory of the Japanese people internalizing aesthetics made a lot of sense to me. Even the illusive yugen barely glimpsed mystery and depth — much-associated with noh theater — is considered here at the far end of the spectrum, opposite to furyu elegant and refined.

For this he gleans from a variety of Western and Japanese sources, accumulating his pensees on the understanding of beauty into this thought-provoking treatise structured in the form of a zuihitsu — the traditional Japanese, free-ranging assortment of ideas that follows its own intuitive direction. Indeed there is, and Richie helps us more than anyone else has before in the English language, by explaining many of the essential aesthetic concepts needed for understanding and appreciation.

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Richie covers a lot of details, though this is an eighty-page treatise, not a textbook or systematic study, so to some it may appear like the structure is haphazard. Want to Read saving…. Essentially it is a long essay rather than a book, t Donald Richie has always wrote elegantly about Japanese culture and in A Tractate On Japanese Aestheticshe looks at Japanese concepts of beauty.

Yvonne rated it liked it Jul 18, 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 Japanese film.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Stone Bridge Press, Inc. But this is a small quibble ; it is a shame that this little essay isn’t more widely available. Ex-Army – Libertarian Nationalist. One famous anecdote illustrates his method. Open Preview See a Problem?


Aestheticw be fair to Richie, he seems as much aware of this as anyone else. Goodreads is oon world’s largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. If aesthetics in the West is mainly concerned with theories of art, that of Japan has always been concerned with theories of taste. For a Westerner, the aesthetic principles encountered in Japanese paintings, poetry, gardens, and other art forms can be The acknowledged don of resident gaijin writers in Japan, Richie first came to these shores in as a cub reporter for the US military publication Pacific Stars and Stripes.

Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of Japanesa cinema never existed, it seems.


May 31, Finlay rated it liked it Shelves: As a rule, I dislike rating non-fiction books. To heighten this, for him necessary, nonlinearity, he juxtapos As Richie explains in 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.

As a result, I found the analysis of concepts like kapanese sabi, mono aware, sibui, and the others interesting.

He is widely admired for his incisive film studies on Ozu and Kurosawa, and for his stylish and incisive observations on Japanese culture.