In Praise of Shadows by Tanizaki Jun�ichir�

In Praise of Shadows by Tanizaki Jun�ichir� - In...

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In Praise of Shadows (1933) by Tanizaki Jun’ichirō - The lack of “harmoniz[ation]” in his contemporary Japanese house (5). - A conflict between modern civilization and traditional aesthetics of architecture: “[…] the snarl and the bulk of an electric fan remain a bit out of place in a Japanese room” (6); also, contemporary people’s expectation for modern conveniences such as an electric fan (6) - The author prefers Japan’s traditional materials and appliances such as paper (shoji) and old lamps (6-7); he is not very fond of modern commodities such as gas/electric stoves, and he contrives to combine modern technology and old-fashioned style (a large sunken hearth and an electric brazier) (8). - The toilet as a prominent focal point in Tanizaki’s argument “the toilet is the most aesthetic” (10): Every time I am shown to an old, dimly lit, and, I would add, impeccably clean toilet in a Nara or Kyoto temple, I am impressed with the singular virtues of Japanese architecture. The parlor may have its charms, but the Japanese toilet truly is a place of spiritual repose. It always stands apart from the main building. […]” (9) (check the whole paragraph) - “a degree of dimness, absolute cleanliness, and [tranquility]” are the important elements in the aesthetics (9) - “[E]legance is frigid” (10) - The toilet should not be excessively illuminated (11) – an affinity with S(Z)eami’s aesthetics of flower: “If hidden, it is a flower”; the aesthetic ideal of subtlety and obscurity - Tanizaki’s preference of certain materials such as “black lacquer” (12)
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course MODL 398 taught by Professor Amano during the Spring '08 term at UNL.

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In Praise of Shadows by Tanizaki Jun�ichir� - In...

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