Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tokyo: A View of the City by Donald Richie

It's common to get nostalgic. It seems there are entire industries based on looking back 50 years, and lamenting the damage progress has done in consuming what made the past a golden age.

Donald Richie's Tokyo: A View of the City is just this kind of look back from circa 1999 - a look at the culture and every day life that built the core neighbourhoods of Tokyo, what had gone, what had come, and what was just ahead.

Many comments about this book talk about it starting at the core (the Imperial Palace) and tracing the story of the city out in concentric circles. I didn't really see that.

But what I did see were wonderful historical strata of parts of this great city - Ginza, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Uedo. It's all a little more in depth (and filled with lament) that Richie's Tokyo Megacity massive picture-book from 2010.

It's a worthwhile look into this great city's past, even if there is much exciting from looking at today forward.

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