Inspiration : just enough

I discovered a book a few months back while browsing through Moe's Books in Berkeley. It's one of those few locally owned bookshops where you expect to be surprised by something unusual. This time it was just enough: lessons in living green in traditional japan by Azby Brown.

It's one of those life changing and awakening books you rarely come across anymore. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Just Enough is a book of stories and sketches, depictions of vanished ways of life told from the point of view of a contemporary observer. It tells how people lived in Japan some two hundred years ago, during the late Edo Period, when traditional technology and culture were at the peak of development, just before the country opened itself to the West and joined the ranks of the industrialized nations.

Illustration by Azby Brown
It explains a lot about the Japanese way of life that holds true today. Bathing rituals, celebrations, the design of their cities, why they eat out so often, etc. I learned a lot from reading about their history and respect the Japanese way of life so much more after reading it.
Illustration by Azby Brown.

If you want to know more, check out Azby Brown's website here and his TED talk below.


Chantal said...

Very interesting Kathryn. We had droughts here in Oz a few years ago and many people changed the way they used the water. Now the droughts are over for the moment many of us have returned to our old ways. It's a shame it takes severe situations before people stop and look at how they can change their behaviour. This book and video look like good reminders that it is not difficult to rethink at least a few ways to save fuel and water in day to day use. Thanks for sharing

Sophie Truong said...

Sounds like a must have - Just ordered it online, thanks for the tip! Love your new header too!

Kitty Kilian said...

So true, Chantal.. Heck I feel bad every time I get in the car.. and we mostly cycle.

kathrynclark said...

Wish we lived in the Netherlands, Kitty. Your country actually has a 200 year plan ... we can't look five years ahead of us here in the states!

elisa rathje said...

sounds delightful, fascinating stuff. i love those old traditions x

Lari Washburn said...

Pretty cool...think I'll have to purchase.


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