Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2008 - Art - 348 pages
2 Reviews

"An enchanting history of Japanese geometry--of a time and place where 'geometers did not cede place to poets.' This intersection of science and culture, of the mathematical, the artistic, and the spiritual, is packed, like circles within circles, with rewarding Aha! epiphanies that drive a mathematician's curiosity."--Siobhan Roberts, author of "King of Infinite Space"

"Teachers will welcome this remarkable collection of mathematical problems, history, and art, which will enrich their curriculum and promote both logical thinking and critical evaluation. It is especially important that we maintain an interest in geometry, which needs, and for once gets, more than its share."--Richard Guy, coauthor of "The Book of Numbers"

"This remarkable book provides a novel insight into the Japanese mathematics of the past few hundred years. It is fascinating to see the difference in mathematical style from that which we are used to in the Western world, but the book also elegantly illustrates the cross-cultural Platonic nature and profound beauty of mathematics itself."--Roger Penrose, author of "The Road to Reality"

"A significant contribution to the history of mathematics. The wealth of mathematical problems--from the very simple to quite complex ones--will keep the interested reader busy for years. And the beautiful illustrations make this book a work of art as much as of science. Destined to become a classic!"--Eli Maor, author of "The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History"

"A pleasure to read. "Sacred Mathematics" brings to light the unique style and character of geometry in the traditional Japanese sources--in particular the "sangaku" problems. These problems range from trivial to utterly devilish. I found myself captivated by them, and regularly astounded by the ingenuity and sophistication of many of the traditional solutions."--Glen Van Brummelen, coeditor of "Mathematics and the Historian's Craft"

  

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Review: Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry

User Review  - Tim Robinson - Goodreads

This is a topic that interests me greatly, yet the book is very bland. Disappointing. Read full review

Review: Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry

User Review  - Paul - Goodreads

Very interesting. Could have better illustrations. Read full review

Contents

Japan and Temple Geometry
1
The Chinese Foundation of Japanese Mathematics
27
Japanese Mathematics and Mathematicians of the Edo Period
59
Easier Temple Geometry Problems
89
Harder Temple Geometry Problems
145
Still Harder Geometry Problems
191
The Travel Diary of Mathematician Yamaguchi Kanzan
243
East and West
283
The Mysterious Enri
301
Introduction to Inversion
313
For Further Reading
337
Index
341
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Fukagawa Hidetoshi is a retired high-school teacher in Japan, and one of the world's experts on "sangaku". He is the coauthor of "Japanese Temple Geometry Problems". Tony Rothman is a theoretical cosmologist who lectures in physics at Princeton University. His books include "Everything's Relative and Other Fables from Science and Technology".

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