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Elements of Japanese Design

Boye Lafayette De Mente


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Learn the elements of the timeless beauty that is Japanese design in this concise reference volume.

Japanese design is known throughout the world for its beauty, its simplicity, and its blending of traditional and contemporary effects. This succinct guide describes the influence and importance of 65 key elements that make up Japanese design, detailing their origins--and their impact on fields ranging from architecture and interior design to consumer products and high fashion.

Learn, for example, how the wabi sabi style that's so popular today developed from the lifestyle choices made by monks a thousand years ago. And how unexpected influences--like tatami (straw mats) or seijaku (silence)--have contributed to contemporary Japanese design.

Elements of Japanese Design offers new insights into the historical and cultural developments at the root of this now international aesthetic movement. From wa (harmony) to kaizen (continuous improvement), from mushin (the empty mind) to mujo (incompleteness), you'll discover how these elements have combined and evolved into a powerful design paradigm that has changed the way the world looks, thinks and acts.

Chapters include:
  • Washi, Paper with Character
  • Ikebana, Growing Flowers in a Vase
  • Bukkyo, The Impact of Buddhism
  • Shibui, Eliminating the Unessential
  • Kawaii, The Incredibly Cute Syndrome
  • Katana, Swords with Spirit

Tuttle Publishing, 9780804837491, 142pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2006

About the Author

Boye Lafayette De Mente has been involved with Japan, China, and Korea since the late 1940s as a member of a U.S. intelligence agency, student, trade journalist, editor, and author working out of Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He is a graduate of Jochi University in Tokyo and The American Institute for Foreign Trade (now Thunderbird: The School of Global Management). His 70-plus books include Japan's Cultural Code Words, Business Guide to Japan, and Japan Unmasked.