Seeing Kyoto

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Kodansha International, 2005 - Photography - 95 pages
Tokyo may be the capital of Japan, but Kyoto is its heart and soul. The rich textures of twelve centuries of culture seem to have woven themselves into the very air. How else could you explain the centuries-old feel of the Gion quarter, where geisha still ply their trade? Or the quiet dignity of the cobblestone back streets lined with traditional wooden houses?

Seeing Kyoto captures all the elegance and charm of Japan's most beloved city with dozens of stunning images. One can imagine the days when aristocrats and samurai inhabited these neighborhoods. With insightful text, long-time Japan resident juliet Carpenter delves into the cultural history of Kyoto, as well as its treasures-artistic, culinary, and historical. She also introduces the neighboring city of Nara, often referred to as "little Kyoto." Finally, Carpenter tackles the clash of old and new: how Kyotoites, in their inimitable vigor, are turning the traditions of yesterday into the strengths of today.

With a lyrical foreword by tea master Sen Soshitsu, Seeing Kyoto offers an unparalleled view of one of the world's finest cities. It explores everything from the ancient palaces to sacred temple grounds, classic Japanese gardens to treasured artworks-in short, a deluxe volume not to be missed.

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Seeing Kyoto

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Kodansha is known for its beautifully illustrated books on Japan, and these two new titles are no exception. Each is sumptuously illustrated with the sights most tourists hope to find. Authors ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

During her thirty-plus years in Japan, award-winning translator JULIET CARPENTER, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has rendered into English a wide array of modern fiction, essays, and poetry by authors such as Kobo Abe, Fumiko Enchi, Machi Tawara, and Ryotaro Shiba. Her most recent translations include Shadow Family, a contemporary mystery by Miyuki Miyabe, and The Sail of My Soul, modern haiku by Seishi Yamaguchi. A devotee of traditional Japanese music, Carpenter is a licensed instructor of the koto and shamisen. She teaches at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto and resides in Ikoma, Nara Prefecture.

SEN SOSHITSU XVI was born in 1956, the first son of Sen Soshitsu XV. He graduated from Doshisha University in Kyoto and was ordained as a buddhist clergyman at the age of twenty-six. In 2002, he succeeded his father as the grand master of the Urasenke tea school.

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