Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where I'll Be

I am going to be spending a good part of my year in the city of Takayama. The name translates to "Tall Mountain" and has a population of about 95,000. It is located in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture.

Of particular interest, Takayama is best known for its inhabitants' expertise in carpentry. It is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and on many of the temples in Kyoto and Nara. Perfect!

Takayama is also famous for its festivals, including the Spring Festival and Autumn Festival. They are considered to rank among the three most beautiful festivals in Japan.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Required Reading

Well, kind of.

"The Road Through Miyama" by Leila Philip. The Memoirs of a young woman's year in a tiny rural village in Japan as an apprentice to a master potter.

"Everyday Aesthetics", by my wonderful professor, Yuriko Saito. An analysis of our everyday interactions with nature, objects, and the material world.

"Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers", by Leonard Koren. The preeminent book on the Wabi Sabi aesthetic tradition and world view. At least the best one I've found.

"Japanese for Busy People". I have to learn Japanese.