‘I have written all this because I have thought that there might still be somewhere, possibly in literature or the arts, where something could be saved. I would call back at least for literature this world of shadows we are losing. In the mansion called literature I would have the eaves deep and the walls dark, I would push back into the shadows the things that come forward too clearly, I would strip away the useless decoration. I do not ask that this be done everywhere, but perhaps we may be allowed at least one mansion where we can turn off the electric lights and see what it is like without them.’
This slim volume is so much more than it presents itself to be. These 40-odd pages praise not only the shadows that the architecture of a Japanese home creates but the shadows of Japanese culture in general. You can read it in an afternoon, and it can stay with you for a lifetime.