Tokyo is a city unrivaled. It stands on the cutting edge of the future and thrives on an inimitable blend of technology, trend, and tradition.
It is a bundle of contradictions sprung from a melding of East and West. The highrises of Shinjuku may rule the skyline, but the Imperial Palace, quiet and dignified, remains the spiritual and geographic heart of the city. The trendsetting boutiques of Harajuku may sate Tokyoites' appetite for the latest in spangle and chic, but it is to the peaceful backstreets of tradition-bound shitamachi that they turn to steep themselves in the Tokyo closest to their soul.
lntroducing Tokyo visually explores this complex city in a way that mere words could never do. Photographer Ben Simmons, a long-time Tokyo resident, knows his city, and every shot radiates with unmistakable Tokyo vitality. Author Donald Richie writes with wit and sensitivity about the city he has called home for over forty years.
For the visitor, this volume is an invaluable memento of sights seen (Ginza, Shinjuku, Akihabara, Asakusa--they are all here). For the general reader, Introducing Tokyo delivers precisely what its title promises, an incisive look at one of the world's most vital, modern, and multifaceted cities.
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DONALD RICHIE, who has for four decades made Tokyo his home, writes widely on Japanese culture and society. Formerly Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he is the recognized Western authority on Japanese film and author of such standard works as The Japanese Film, Ozu, and The Films of Akira Kurosawa. See also his A Hundred Years of Japanese Films.In addition he has written many books on other aspects of the country and its people: A Taste of Japan, Zen Inklings, The Japanese Tattoo, and Different People. In 1993, the Tokyo metropolitan government conferred upon him its Cultural Award.
BEN SIMMONS is a freelance photographer based in Tokyo. Before going to Japan, he taught creative photography at the progressive Penland School in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. His work appears regularly in numerous magazines, including Time, Business Week, and Canon's Chronicle. See his work in the The Photo Gallery.
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