Book Break: Just Enough
Just Enough: Lessons in living green from traditional Japan
by Azby Brown
The speech and Q & A will be in English.Description:
Azby Brown returns to the FCCJ to speak about and show images from his timely and important newbook, Just Enough: Lessons in living green from traditional Japan (Kodansha International).
What is it like to live in a sustainable society? If we want to live sustainably, how should we feel about nature? About waste? About our forests and rivers? About food? What was the "traditional Japanese way of life," and what can it teach us today? In this beautifully illustrated new book, Azby Brown seeks to answer these questions and raise many more.
Just Enough is conceived as a book of stories, depictions of vanished ways of life told from the point of view of a contemporary observer. Focusing on the lives of farmers, townspeople, and samurai, the stories tell how people lived in Japan some two hundred years ago, towards the end of the Edo period, when traditional technology and culture were at the peak of development and realization. They tell how the nation overcame many of the identical problems that confront us today–issues of energy, water, materials, food, and population–and who forged from these formidable challenges a society that was conservation-minded, waste-free, well-housed and well-fed, and economically robust, and which has bequeathed to us admirable and enduring standards of design and beauty. More than anything else, this book is about a mentality that pervaded Japanese society that can serve as a beacon for our own efforts to achieve sustainability now.
In his talk, Brown will use examples from his book to illustrate the environmentally-related problems that the people in both rural and urban areas faced then, the conceptual frameworks in which they viewed these problems, and how they went about finding solutions.
AZBY BROWN, a native of New Orleans, studied architecture and sculpture at Yale College and the University of Tokyo. He became an associate professor of architectural design at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology in 1995, where he is currently holds a post in the Department of Media Informatics. In 2003, he opened the KIT Future Design Institute in Tokyo, and serves as director. He is the author of several acclaimed books on Japanese architecture, including The Genius of Japanese Carpentry (KI 1995), Small Spaces (KI 1996), The Japanese Dream House (KI 2001), and The Very Small Home (KI 2005). He lives in Yokohama with his wife and son. www.justenoughjapan.com
A dinner will be served at a cost of 1,850 yen (including tax). Sign up now at the reception desk (3211-3161) or online at http://www.fccj.or.jp/. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled.
Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.