Japanese Architecture: A Short History

4.0 out of 5 stars Japanese architecture over the years

Japanese Architecture: A Short History (Tuttle Classics)

A.L. Sadler’s 1941 book “Japanese Architecture: A Short History” is one of several books Sadler wrote to help introduce the West to the then-unknown culture of Japan. More than just a textbook or academic exercise, Sadler infuses his description of Japanese architecture with short lessons on Japanese culture and society. One cannot separate the building from the people, after all.

“Japanese Architecture” goes through each period a chapter at a time, from the Early Period (660 BC – 540 AD) up to the Edo Period (1616 – 1860 AD). He then discusses some of the special features of Japanese architecture, such as the shoji screens, the bathroom, and the ceilings. He goes into some depth of the building regulations of the Tokugawa period, which prescribed what kind of house you could live in by what class you were born into.

By “short history,” Sadler isn’t kidding. Each period gets only a few pages to cover several hundred years, which makes for quick and easy reading. Fully a third of the book is illustrations. Unfortunately, the illustrations are not spread throughout the text but collected in the back as an appendix. That means you have to do a lot of flipping back and forth as you read the book to look at the picture that Sadler is describing.

I enjoyed “Japanese Architecture: A Short History” even though the writing was a bit dry. I was happy for the short chapters, and I wish the pictures had been published next to the text instead of in the back. I don’t know if this is how the book originally appeared in 1941 or not, but that is likely. When I lived in Japan I was curious about the different types of buildings, particularly in the shrines and temples that appear everywhere but are often stylistically different. Thanks to Sadler’s book I have a better grasp of the architecture and can better place when a particular building was made by what style it is in.

Advertisements

More Japanese for Kids Flash Cards Kit

more flash

 
5.0 out of 5 stars More of a good thing

Having used and enjoyed the Tuttle Japanese for Kids Flash Cards Kit (Tuttle Flash Cards), it was a no-brainer to pick up the next set in the series.

Like the previous set, there are sixty-four cards here in different categories. The categories are Going Outside (8 cards), Nature (8 cards), Things in My House (10 cards), Things I Want to Do (10 cards), Opposites (12 cards), Weather (6 cards) and Actions (10 cards). The vocabulary is all very basic words and perfect for a beginner’s level. On the front of each card is a cartoon picture of the subject, as well as the Japanese word written above the picture. The Japanese words are written in kanji, hiragana or katakana as they would naturally appear in written Japanese. On the reverse side there are two to three sentences using the vocabulary in context, written in standard Japanese (including kanji), romaji and English.

Whereas the previous set was mostly nouns, the “More Japanese Flash Cards for Kids” features a wider variety of words including adverbs, adjectives and verbs. The categories also have variety, such as the Going Outside category which has vehicle names as well as the words for “park,” “shop” and “school.”

In the same way as the previous collection, the general card arrangement is very easy to use, and the cards are a nice size (about the size of two standard playing cards laid together) and laminated so they can be used again and again. The sentences on the back use not only the vocabulary of the card itself, but also other words in the set to reinforce retention.

Along with the flash cards, there is a poster containing all of the words in the set, with the same pictures, and an audio CD that can be used for pronunciation practice. On the CD, as well as the pronunciation for the words and sentences included with the flash cards, there are bonus vocabulary including basic greeting words and a few Japanese children’s songs. Unfortunately, these are the exact same bonus words as on the previous CD, so it is a duplication if you already own the previous set. The songs are new, however, and are very popular and traditional Japanese children’s songs.

Although Tuttle calls this set “Flash Cards for Kids,” I have found them useful for adult learners as well. In fact, I have also been using them in reverse, for Japanese people studying English. Once the basic vocabulary has been mastered, they can be used in games such as spreading them out “Go Fish” style and having the learner draw two cards, then make a sentence out of the two vocabulary words. This game is greatly improved by the addition of verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and you can even split the piles so that you need to draw one adjective/adverb, one noun and one verb to make a sentence.

Japanese for Kids Flash Cards Kit

flash

 
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tool for vocabulary retention

A good set of flash cards is a valuable tool in language study. They are never going to teach you the lesson in and of themselves, but will help reinforce lessons learned and get your brain used to operating in the target language at normal speeds instead of having to search for the word in questions.

This set of “Japanese Flash Cards for Kids” is a great set, and one that I have gotten a lot of use from. There are sixty-four cards in all, separated into categories like animals (8 cards), body parts (8 cards), food (8 cards), family (8 cards), numbers (10 cards), daily activities (8 cards), clothing (6 cards) and colors (8 cards). The vocabulary is all very basic words and perfect for a beginner’s level. On the front of each card is a cartoon picture of the subject, as well as the Japanese word written above the picture. The Japanese words are written in kanji, hiragana or katakana as they would naturally appear in written Japanese. On the reverse side there are two to three sentences using the vocabulary in context, written in standard Japanese (including kanji), romaji and English.

The general card arrangement is very easy to use, and the cards are a nice size (about the size of two standard playing cards laid together) and laminated so they can be used again and again. The sentences on the back use not only the vocabulary of the card itself, but also other words in the set to reinforce retention.

Along with the flash cards, there is a poster containing all of the words in the set, with the same pictures, and an audio CD that can be used for pronunciation practice. On the CD, as well as the pronunciation for the words and sentences included with the flash cards, there are bonus vocabulary including basic greeting words and a few Japanese children’s songs.

Although Tuttle calls this set “Flash Cards for Kids,” I have found them useful for adult learners as well. In fact, I have also been using them in reverse, for Japanese people studying English. Once the basic vocabulary has been mastered, they can be used in games such as spreading them out “Go Fish” style and having the learner draw two cards, then make a sentence out of the two vocabulary words.

%d bloggers like this: