1997-tsuzuki-tokyoacertainstyle.pdf: “Tokyo: A Certain Style”, (1997; ):
Writer-photographer Kyoichi Tsuzuki visited a hundred apartments, condos, and houses, documenting what he saw in more than 400 color photos that show the real Tokyo style—a far cry from the serene gardens, shoji screens, and Zen minimalism usually associated with Japanese dwellings.
In this Tokyo, necessities such as beds, bathrooms, and kitchens vie for space with electronic gadgets, musical instruments, clothes, books, records, and kitschy collectibles. Candid photos vividly capture the dizzying “cockpit effect”of living in a snug space crammed floor to ceiling with stuff. And it’s not just bohemian types and students who must fit their lives and work into tight quarters, but professionals and families with children, too. In descriptive captions, the inhabitants discuss the ingenious ways they’ve adapted their home environments to suit their diverse lifestyles.
“How Japan Copied American Culture and Made it Better: If you’re looking for some of America’s best bourbon, denim and burgers, go to Japan, where designers are re-engineering our culture in loving detail”, (2014-04):
[Account of specialty retailers and craftsmen in Japan, who love Americana, focusing on: old bourbon, jazz, workwear (“railroad jackets, canvas dusters, flannel shirts, double-kneed pants”; especially denim), hamburgers, and preppy “Ivy Style” fashion.]
In Japan, the ability to perfectly imitate—and even improve upon—the cocktails, cuisine and couture of foreign cultures isn’t limited to American products; there are spectacular French chefs and masterful Neapolitan pizzaioli who are actually Japanese. There’s something about the perspective of the Japanese that allows them to home in on the essential elements of foreign cultures and then perfectly recreate them at home. “What we see in Japan, in a wide range of pursuits, is a focus on mastery”, says Sarah Kovner, who teaches Japanese history at the University of Florida. “It’s true in traditional arts, it’s true of young people who dress up in Harajuku, it’s true of restaurateurs all over Japan.”