Impressions of Japanese Architecture and the Allied Arts

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Baker & Taylor, 1905 - ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES - 227 pages
Noteworthy architect Ralph Adams Cram compiled this book of essays on Japanese architecture in 1905. Cram was greatly influenced by Japanese design in his own works.
 

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Page 147 - Japan lasts unbroken from the middle of the seventh century to the middle of the nineteenth, a duration of twelve hundred years.
Page 118 - To the Japanese, wood, like anything that possesses beauty, is almost sacred, and he handles it with a fineness of feeling that at best we only reveal when we are dealing with precious marbles. From all wood that may be seen close at hand, except such as is used as a basis for the rare and precious lacquer, paint, stain, varnish, anything that may obscure the beauty of texture and grain, is rigidly kept away.
Page 50 - ... of line. It is quite true that many of the temples of this period, like the Hongwanji at Nagoya, are tremendously imposing, more so in size and general effect than any of the earlier structures, and occasionally, as in the same temple, there is almost no fault to be found with the composition or the curves, but too often size is the only reason for admiration. Leave out the question of pure architecture, and the Nikko shrines, together with those of Shiba and Uyeno in Tokyo, are marvels of exquisite...
Page 28 - In one respect it is unique: it is a style developed from the exigencies of wooden construction, and here it stands alone as the most perfect mode in wood the world has known.
Page 120 - ... would be acceptable to western ideas. A number of thin, flat silk cushions to kneel on, one or two tansu or chests of drawers, andon or lamps with rice-paper screens, small lacquered tables a foot square and half as high for serving food, hibachi or braziers, several folding screens, a standing mirror of burnished steel, and dishes of lacquer and porcelain form the entire list, with...
Page 120 - Under ordinary circumstances, a living room, even of the best class, contains nothing in the way of furniture except what appears in the tokonoma and chigai-dana. Cushions are produced when the room is in use by day, beds at night, small tables when food is served, and a brazier if the weather is cold — this last apparently as a formality for it has no appreciable effect on the temperature. One would say that the...
Page 162 - TEMPLE a Monti, which the Great International Exhibition showed ; yet the Japanese bronze castings are, some of them, scarce inferior in skilled workmanship and mixture of metals to anything we can produce of the same kind. No Japanese can produce anything to be named in the same day with a work from the pencil of a Landseer, a...
Page 131 - X them with plate-glass in order that we may gaze on a narrow back garden or a narrower street where nothing that is worth seeing ever occurs. With wainscot and drapery and paper hangings we strive for an effect of protection and then nullify it by our plate-glass windows that afford only a garish light, and, in most cases, a view of things not worth looking at.
Page 48 - ... oftentimes open cloisters connect them with the central temples, dividing the entire space into three great courts ; minor courtyards, with shrines and schools and priests' houses, sometimes continue the composition on either hand in complete bilateral symmetry. In many cases the plan is vast and imposing, but in almost every instance so many of the buildings have been burned that little idea can be gained of the original design. The gigantic monastery of Obaku-san, between Uji and Kyoto, though...
Page 118 - From all wood that may be seen close at hand, except such as is used as a basis for the rare and precious lacquer, paint, stain, varnish, anything that may obscure the beauty of texture and grain, is rigidly kept away. The original cost of the material is a matter of no consequence; if it has a subtle tone of colour, a delicate swirl in the veining, a peculiarly soft and velvety texture, it is carefully treasured and used in the place of honour.

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