April 27, 2016

2495 JAPAN (Kantō) - The Art of Living

2495 An interior of a house from Tokyo Area in 1970

In October 1945, when he arrived in Tokyo as part of the Allied forces occupying Japan, Charles Egbert Tuttle, Jr. didn't know that this experience will change his life completely. He spent a while helping the Japanese newspaper industry, then he married with a Japanese woman who belonged to a wealthy family from Hokkaidō. In 1948 founded his publishing company in Tokyo, with the mission to publish "books to span the East and West."

A profile of Tuttle Publishing (originally the Charles E. Tuttle Company), describes it as an "International publisher of innovative books on design, cooking, martial arts, language, travel and spirituality with a focus on China, Japan and South East Asia." Since its founding, the company has published more than 6,000 books and today maintains an active backlist of around 2,000 titles, even if its founder died in 1993. According to UNESCO, Tuttle Publishing is the most active publisher of books teaching Japanese to the English-speaking world, and English to the Japanese-speaking world.

Japan: The Art of Living was one of this books, published in 1990, and which became best seller. The author, Amy Sylvester Katoh, collector and connoisseur of Japanese Craftss and textiles, introduced stunning interior designs that have successfully blended East and West, traditional and modern. With over 300 color photographs by Shin Kimura, this tour of exquisite homes in the Tokyo area offers new ideas for decorating the Western home.

It shows how enhancing table settings, arranging space with carefully selected screens and furnishings, and inviting the season indoors with delicate flower arrangements can create a Japanese aesthetic in the most parochial of rooms. Katoh counsels readers to break free from some of the rules that govern Japanese style and design and experiment with their own brand of panache - or Japanache, as Katoh calls it.

Instead of cataloging stylish homes, the author presents a design element, such as tansu chests, with a dozen options and alternatives, providing both ancient ideas and their modern updates. In addition to the superb photos and engaging text, there is also an index of places to buy the featured antiques, textiles, washi paper, screens, and other items, both in Japan and in 11 states in the U.S. "If you were a fan of Japanese design before, this book will make you a fanatic", conclude Jhana Bach.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting a chipmunk, is part of a series of 11 definitive stamps, issued on March 3, 2014, about which I wrote here. The second stamp, depicting pine trees and maple leaves, was issued on April 18, 1971 to mark the National Afforestation Campaign. The third stamp, depicting "Secret Horse" Straw Toy, from Iwate Prefecture, was issued on January 20, 1966 to celebrate the Year of the Horse.The fourth stamp is part of the series Imperial Wedding, issued on April 10, 1959 to mark the wedding of Crown Prince Akihito and Michiko Shōda.

The last stamp is part of the series EXPO 70 World Fair, Osaka, issued on March 14, 1970:
• View of Fair and Firework Display (7 JPY)
• Earth and Cherry Blossom Garland (15 JPY)
• Irises (Korin Ogata) (50 JPY) - It's on the postcard 2495

References
Charles E. Tuttle - Wikipedia
Tuttle Publishing - Wikipedia
Japan: The Art of Living - Amazon

Sender: Akiko Watanabe (direct swap)
Sent from Kitakyūshū (Kyūshū / Japan), on 29.02.2016
Photo: Shin Kimura

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