In praise of shadows
Tanizaki makes the point that the progress of civilisation is only for the youth, that the lights of the modern day leave behind all the old simple people of the past.
Summary: An essay by Tanazaki that describes the subtleties of Japanese culture and aesthetics. A simple book and a very well written essay. He describes the core of Japanese aesthetic as cloudy and veiled, in contrast to the western standards of beauty.
-In past times when yellow light was common in Japan, the beauty of both men and women could be seen, the shadows of their faces contributing even more to the overall beauty of mystery. In the book Tanizaki explains that the theatres and restaurants have begun to change their soft lamps and candlelights for electric white lights, due to the request of the people as well as the natural evolution of our items. These changes have had a profound negative impact on Tanizaki as he suggests that everything from the beauty of their food, faces, clothing and homes have begun to take a setback due to the lighting and how western borrowing has caused Japan to ignore their beauty.
He makes the observation that the races all make inventions that compliment their own specific colour palette without knowing.
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