Nature and Life in Japan
There is a feeling that is always present in Japanese people’s lives: the concept of ‘not resisting nature’. Japan is a country with nature in abundance, where one can clearly sense four beautiful seasons, but it is also a land prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. That is why Japanese people have, since ancient times, been in awe of nature, conscious that they can never resist it, despite deriving so much benefit from it.
This way of thinking is reflected in many aspects of Japanese cultures. Examples include Japanese gardens that reproduce nature just as it is, architecture that makes the most of the innate characteristics of wood, and the spirit of wabi-sabi, which teaches people to appreciate the beauty of flowers and leaves even as they fall.
This new Library exhibition, curated by Haba Yoshitaka, is divided into four themes with books carefully selected to reflect each one: Forests and the Environment; Japanese Plants and their Uses; Expressions of Nature that Reflect Japan; and Mitate Masquerades.
Some of the books are available in Japanese language only, however, they are filled with a variety of striking images that can be understood universally.
About the Book Curator:
Haba Yoshitaka is a Book Director and representative of BACH, as well as an associate lecturer at Waseda University and Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. In order to create opportunities for people to have greater access to books and pick up unknown books, Haba produces shop floors, library displays and reading areas that connect book stores and different industries.
His recent works include Wacoal Study Hall Kyoto (a venue that comprises a school, library, gallery and co-working space), ISETAN The Japan Store Kuala Lumpur and Japan House São Paulo. Haba is a book connoisseur, his love of books goes beyond book curation to include writing and editing. Watch Japan House London interview with Haba Yoshitaka here.