This book called “Traditional Designs of Nippon” is a small gem. I was about to write a little text about it but instead found this description from an art book store in Australia (where you can also buy it online):
Comprehensive illustrated encyclopaedia of design that covers all sorts of handmade objects that are presented organised in 39 categories, including architectural structures, furniture, furnishings, armour worn by generals, clothing and religious objects. The collection of 2,200 drawings, produced by Hanzo Koda, have been assembled to serve as a record of historical Japanese objects while also providing the reader with a striking visible background to the different periods in Japanese history and culture.
Pity though that all the descriptions are in Kanji only without ruby (and that – as one of my japanese friends confirmed for me while flipping through the pages of this book – is a problem even for japanese native speakers).
That’s no show stopper though, even if you read no japanese at all. The book is printed nicely (as japanese books always are) and is dirt cheap too.
You can get it from the aforementioned source or Amazon Japan, and I recommend you do.
Georgie from Ireland tells me, she’s having problems ordering from Amazon.co.jp.They won’t let her set up an account because she’s not living in Japan. I don’t have that problem here in Switzerland (although I haven’t ordered anything in 2013 yet). Any of you run into a problem like this with Amazon Japan? Please let me know via email (find the address on my website)