by Edward S. Morse
When this book was first published in 1886, it sent a thunderbolt though architects and furniture designers all over America. This is the book that got Americans to travel to Japan and bring its influence to bear on American furniture and architecture.
Frank Lloyd Wright and Greene and Greene are just some of the giants of American design who were hugely influenced by traditional Japanese design detailed in this volume.
This profusely illustrated book is comprehensive in dealing with the details of architecture, rooms, roofs and their furnishings. Even privies get six pages.
What makes "Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings" so important even to day is that the author, Edward S. Morse, had a real eye for detail. For example, he is not satisfied to convey just the broad strokes of room layout. Rather, he wants us to understand subtle stuff
- such as five different types of towel racks, all completely different than what we would expect in a western style bath.
Morse shared his observations at a time when Japan was first opening up to the West. What he writes about are objects before western influences took hold.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in Asian influences on design, or anyone looking for Asian inspirations.
Softcover. 372 pages. Includes a glossary.
Publisher: Dover Publications