This is a great book if you want an insight into how the millions of residents of Tokyo balance their desire to own things whilst living in the tiny boxes that most of them do. The author was allowed access to many homes and the pictures are great. Don't expect zen minimalism here or any any great design ideas - this is real life at its most honest and sometimes grottiest. If you've spent any time in Japan you may well be able to relate to what you see - and if you're planning a move there this makes quite a good picture book to look at before you take the plunge - just don't expect anything more. By the way, I think the other review refers to the wrong book - I think it reviews 'Fruits' by Shoich Aoki.
Yeah, this is a good one. I travelled to Tokyo last September 2003 and so I have cravings of all things related to. This book makes me smile. We'd all love one of those tv homes that are all co-ordinated and perfect. But the reality and the need for practicality in daily life at home demands a much different approach. This is just a great little colourful book that shows us what the home of an average Tokyo-ite is like. A bit dated now though, maybe ten years old ? But just skim through it and it is fantastic. Not a design guide with tips on zen layouts - this is wabi-sabi - showing you the beauty of life as it honestly is in Tokyo.
This is a most interesting little book that will open your eyes to life in Tokyo. Forget any notions you may have about all Japanese homes being in perfect, Zen harmony and order, a glance at this book will quickly change your mind! There are some excellent photographs in this book and from them you will gain an insight both into the lives of Tokyoites and also their amazing resourcefulness living in such small spaces. Interestingly, if you thought the English were the only people fond of collections, you will be surprised. Indeed, there are even collections of collections in here...
I certainly recommend this original and thought-provoking book to readers.
I bought this about 4 years ago and everytime I flip through this it raises a smile. It really is a chronicle of clutter in peoples lives and how the stuff piles up, and since this is Tokyo where space is at a premium- even more so. True, as noted by other reviewers, the computers and phones are a give away as to when these photos were taken ( ? early nineties maybe or earlier). But there something comforting about it was well- not the impossible designer pads but cramped spaces of ordinary folk who love their vinyl and books and stereos and clothes and guitars and gizmos.
A great little document of crowded japanese dwellings stuffed to the max with belongings. The pictures may be over 10 years old now, but the only thing that dates this book are the older-looking computers and games consoles in some of the apartments.
I always thought i had too much stuff but these Tokyo citizens are in another league!. Looking through this 430+ page book made me feel better about the size of my own collections and cluttered living space. I'm nowhere near as obsessive as i thought- Tokyo takes that particular personality trait to another level.
The photos are collected into chapters with headings like Artsy Pads, The Traditional Touch, Monomaniacs, Kiddie Kingdoms, Hermitages etc and have a written commentary by the author Kyoichi Tsuzuki with personal details he noted down of the occupants. This adds a great sense of place and context to the photos and points out interesting details. The occupants are never seen, the book is all about the spaces they inhabit, displaying a dizzying variety of style.
I put this in the same category as the popular `Fruits' series about Tokyo youth culture, a sturdy little book with loads of real life snap-shots that are fascinating for anyone interested in modern Japan. A+
The interest of this book is partly due to its uniqueness among all of the publications about Japanese interior design/architecture/aesthetics. Far from the more usual printed fare about Zen gardens, traditional thatched-roof houses, top-notch contemporary architecture, etc, 'Tokyo: a certain style' pays attention to the average working class dwellings in Tokyo, of course a much more representative sample of the Japanese life nowadays. By the way of doing so, it also provides a valuable insight into the day-to-day of actual people living in Japan today (the late 90's, when the book was published). In this sense, the captions accompanying the photographs provide a good emotional -and often smile-inducing- complement to the otherwise fastidiously factual images. I have a less favourable opinion about the author's proclaimed resistance in pro of 'Japanese-ness'; nonetheless, this is an amusing and illustrative (and portable) photobook that has been a perfect companion for my underground travels.
I can't really add to what already has been said by other reviews but had to come on here to give this book a 5 star rating. A fantastic document as to how people live in tiny spaces in Tokyo, and I thought we were boxed in here in England. You will not regret buying this book.
This book is a must for anyone who is remotely interested in japan.Its a great platform from which to launch into the sometimes puzzling world of Japanese youth culture.Taken from a popular Japanese fasion magazine of the same name, the photos in this book document the typical fashions of Japanese kids "hanging Out" in the Harajuku district of tokyo.With each picture are details of the outfit being worn, such as where it was bought or who it was borrowed off along with comments by the wearer on current habits and the point of their fashion. Brill!