Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the 11 men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly designed volume has a wealth of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with the natural world, and contributing to their communities. In their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters. Read an excerpt of the book here or here. Read a review of the book here, here, or here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A quick taste of some of the wisdom in this book

A person identified only as "Sakuteiki" and who lives in Grants Pass Oregon pulled out a few of his or favorite quotes or scenes in an Amazon review.

Potter Oizumi creates Chernobyl shaped lanterns with permuted fenestrations of the date of the nuclear spill. A tea ceremony performed in a bomb shelter. Making pottery of clay from a nuclear spill site, bread from grain harvested near a nuclear facility, quietly gentling people to consider the meaning of polite behaviors which ignore the unpleasant, while cooperating in implied brutality and contamination.

Osamu Nakamura woodblock carver, hand bookbinder, cook: "I looked at my life, and I knew that I didn't want to wake up one day and find myself an old man filled with regret that I hadn't seen the things of this world."

Batik artist Asha Amemiya: "Maybe it's just that humans are that kind of animal; they don't really want to move toward satisfaction. Or maybe it's just that the place where I'm satisfied is different. . . ."

Akira Ito illustrator, writer, book designer: "The good things of the past, that's what we must preserve. They have passed through the hardships of history to become a tradition, and we who are alive today must treasure them, and take care of them for the future."

Gufu Watanabe potter, journal writer: "People in Japan used to make quality things too because the artisans didn't have any skills. . . . There was power in it. But then they learned all kinds of techniques and the energy and force disappeared."

The reviewer described the book like this: "Thoughtful humble lives of simplicity if one is seeking alternatives, or merely inquiring about possibilities.  A Different Kind of Luxury is a gift of friendship from creative, generous people who engage fully in their communities and have lives full of meaning."

And here are some words of mine that he or she chose to highlight: "There is a larger world surrounding us, not just the resplendent world of nature, but also our own potential as people to live well, to connect with each other, to do meaningful work, and to forge a different kind of future for ourselves and for the next generation."

Please, if you want to get the book for yourself or for a friend or family member, I would like to ask you to get it directly from the publisher here. You will get a beautiful gift card of a piece of calligraphy from Wakako Oe that is not included in the book, with two great quotes on the back of the "folding screen" card from her as well.  Here's that image. You may find that the more you gaze at it, the more you see.... 

No comments:

Post a Comment