I haven’t done a book review in ages, which is quite weird since I’ve been secretly buying loads of them since the pandemic started. One of the perks of being home is that you’re in when they arrive and you can take an actual look at them, instead of shelving them and be off to […]
I haven’t done a book review in ages, which is quite weird since I’ve been secretly buying loads of them since the pandemic started. One of the perks of being home is that you’re in when they arrive and you can take an actual look at them, instead of shelving them and be off to do your things.
One of the books I bought might be of interest to all you architecture nerds out there: it’s a 2018 work by Mateusz Urbanowicz who, having moved to Tokyo, decided to walk around the city and carefully, accurately illustrate the storefronts of different kind of shops.
When I moved to Tokyo, in 2014 I was really surprised that upon my walks I encountered so many shops still in business in really old buildings. Differently to Kobe, where the earthquake wiped out a lot of these old downtown houses and shops, in Tokyo they still survive.
I chose the best reference pictures from the ones I took during my explorations and decided to make an illustration series of old Tokyo storefronts.
The book contains 50 shops, carefully illustrated each one into a double page: the right page is the full front and the left page contains details, enlarged and explained, about the windows, the signage, the different details picked up in the illustration.
The book also features illustrations of some interiors and a couple of appendixes, also illustrated, on the artist’s atelier: his room, pens and brushes, colours, and a couple of step-by-step pictures for the making of an illustration. It is overall a delight and I highly recommend it. I got the Chinese / English edition (it’s the one I found), but you can take a look at all the different editions here. On the Amazon Japanese store there seems to be a Kindle edition available and the paper version should also be available over there.
I got it from here: this reseller has a lot of other beautiful books you might want to check out.