Tokyo: A Certain Style Paperback – Sep 15 1999
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
It's common for Americans to stereotype the Japanese as conformist, rigidly organized, and immaculately tidy, but with Tokyo: A Certain Style Kyoichi Tsuzuki makes remarkable progress toward broadening those impressions. Tsuzuki photographed the very lived-in interiors of numerous Tokyo houses and apartments, and then jammed his piles of pictures into the format of a short-of-stature book. The result is an engrossing look at the many ways people have adapted to Tokyo's notoriously cramped living spaces. There are several common threads--indoor clotheslines are used to supplement or replace closet space in almost every home--but each dwelling brings out its owner's personality. Some are breathtakingly cluttered, with bric-a-brac piled on electronic equipment and papers stacked on every flat surface, while others show so little evidence of the debris of daily living that one feels certain sorcery must be involved. Most charming are the "design" elements that show off the owners' little quirks: ingeniously improvised hooks and shelves, major appliances banished to the outdoors, and the extensive stuffed animal collection of a grown adult. Many photos simply boggle the mind with the sheer amount of stuff that can be crammed into incredibly small spaces, while others highlight the strange beauty that is often achieved in compressed living. Highly recommended for dorm-bound college students or anyone who has ever groused about a lack of space. --Ali Davis
An indispensable resource for quality-conscious visitors who don't want to blow their budgets.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Look, the photography does the best job it can to show these rooms (often so small that only one or two angles are possible), but photo after photo of seeing people's piles of books, records, manga, dishes? Please -- this is not a book about style. It's a book about people who have no style -- the have STUFF. If you're looking for insight into the real homelife style of Japanese, in this book you're mostly going to be seeing only a blur.
The book is divided into sections based on style (ranging from cluttered to semi-thought-out design to traditional bamboo-mat japanese decor) with small captions for each photograph. There are also facts and photographs about some of the buildings -- how close they are to food/shopping areas, whether there's a communal bathroom, etc. The book is small (I venture to say "pocket-size" even -- it's about as tall as the length of my hand from palm to finger), but the photographs stretch from corner to corner with no borders and no especially obstructive text.
This is a great book for people interested in how possessions can define character, how place and setting and clutter can equate to some greater good, what all this means besides just "living space." I find myself thumbing through it frequently, a little overwhelmed, but always fascinated.
My own living conditions aside, the main reason I love this book is that it is a look into REAL homes. Not those models you see in magazines or on TV. This is how real people live and that's what makes it all the more appealing. When faced with astronomical land prices, people are forced to live in a smaller space, while trying to keep their own "style," which is what this book is about.
As one reviewer wrote, the photos are circa 1992, but over 10 years later, things haven't changed--my friend's apartment (she lives in Fukushima, though) looks just like some of these places--an organized mess. Even when I was living there a few years ago, my place had that "less is more" feel, with no furniture and piles of books and CDs lining the walls.
The photos are bright and the overall atmosphere created is one of comfort--even when faced with mountains of "mono"--and that is the idea. One man's trash is another man's treasure and while some may cringe when seeing some of these places, one must always remember that these are/were people's homes and that, to them, this is comfort! The photos are not glamorous (the author is not a professional photographer and clearly states as much), but they are not meant to be, nor do they need to be.
This is book is a great piece of nostalgia for people who lived in Japan (like myself), and a wonderful insight into the way real people live in one of the largest, most expensive cities in the world.
Most recent customer reviews
I, for one, am all in favor of stuff. My own, my best friend's, my second cousin's, and even (especially) an anonymous Japanese surfer's. It's interesting. Read morePublished on April 21 2004 by Lisa2
This book currently resides in our bathroom. It gets frequent viewing and is perfect to view in the time needed. The book gives you a fishbowl look into Japanese lives. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2003 by Alisa McCune
What this book is: endless photographs of the insides of japanese apartments, showing stacks of books/cds/stuff/junk and all the different ways that a multitude of stuff can be... Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2003 by nycgirl
If you are like me and like house porn, this book is a must flip-through. This book features contemporary Tokyo urbanites and suburbanites living in small spaces. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2001
This a wonderful little book. Little in size not in page count, over 400 pages. The book shows the small accomodations that many tokyoites live in. Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2001 by Daitokuji31
The small cramped presentation of wonderful photographs of the way real folks live is frustrating but appropriate for the subject. Read morePublished on April 14 2001 by Pat Matsumoto
this book is for those who find looking into the lives of others fascinating- each page is filled with excitement, energy, and ..... clutter. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2000
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Arts & Photography > Design & Decorative Arts > Decorative Arts
- Books > Arts & Photography > Design & Decorative Arts > Graphic Design
- Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video
- Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Decorating
- Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Interior Design > Decorating
- Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Interior Design > Decoration & Ornament
- Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Interior Design > Professional Reference
- Books > Literature & Fiction
- Books > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Decoration & Ornament
- Books > Professional & Technical > Architecture > History