Review á Kyoto A Contemplative Guide ï PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB


3 thoughts on “Kyoto A Contemplative Guide

  1. says:

    It seems to be out of print now but perhaps it will bounce back as it has done so many times since it was first published in 1964 Gouverneur Mosher's Kyoto A Contemplative Guide This was my first guide to Kyoto when I arrived there as foreign exchange student of Kyoto University in 1982 There were very few guidebooks at that time no Lonely Planet no Rough Guide no Gateway to Japan and Mosher's book stood out because of its high uality I devoured the book and enthusiastically visited all the places he describes even little Shinsen en the pond that is a small remnant of the original Heian palace gardens I fell in love with Kyoto I first came to Sakamoto on a uiet mid winter morning whose low sun was badly weakened by the haze over Lake Biwa Mosher on EnryakujiSince then I have read the book several times from cover to cover for it is than a guide the first half of the book is a short history of Kyoto told imaginatively around the temples Mosher wants to introduce and although there are now other popular histories of Kyoto that reflect recent scholarship as John Dougill's excellent Kyoto A Cultural History I remain fond of Mosher's Kyoto The second part contains detailed descriptions of these temples with loving attention to art works; and the shortest third part is a travel guide the only part of the book now outdated as Kyoto has changed much and tourism also One nice point here is Mosher's advocacy of Kyoto's streetcar system an elegant traffic solution much better than the stinking cars and buses that now clog the streets of the Old Capital Here in the depths of the mountaintop is Saicho's tomb standing alone with graceful dignity in a uiet hidden hollow Mosher on EnryakujiMosher delves into Kyoto's rich history not only with contemplation but also a sense of sadness at the list of cruelties and follies that human history inevitably is He writes about the mighty monastery that Enryakuji on Mt Hiei once was before Nobunaga crushed the power of the monks and also about the rise of Amida Buddhism in Sanzenin in Ohara The great Fujiwara clan is treated in the chapter on Byodoin the Phoenix Hall in Uji Truly this is a building with wings lighter than the air in which it floats He the Buddha Amida is there inside this magical floating building looking in upon himself Mosher on ByodoinIn Jakkoin also in Ohara he meditates on the fall of the Taira family Chapter Seven Anrakuji and Honenin tells about the early persecution of Pure Land Buddhism The Zen sect is treated in the chapter in Daitokuji Ginkakuji serves to highlight the mis rule of the Ashikaga clan in Ryoanji he meditates upon the terrible Onin war and the destruction of virtually the whole of Kyoto In Daigoji and Sanboin Mosher tells about Toyotomi Hideyoshi Nijo Castle serves as a stage for the story of the Tokugawa It is said that Nijo's garden was originally laid out without trees so that the shogun would not be saddened by the sight of the passing seasons Mosher on Nijo CastleNice is also the inclusion of Nijo Jinya an inn with anti ninja trappings for feudal lords south of Nijo castle He rounds off with Kiyomizudera as the All Time Temple although historically it should have come at the beginning of the book for it preceded the founding of Kyoto A deep ravine that works in through densely overgrown hills crowding close on all sides On the slope sits the little Tendai nunnery called Jakko in Mosher on Jakko inAs Mosher admits in his preface he had to leave out many great temples for reasons of space Nishi Honganji Chionin Nanzenin Tenryuji He also leaves out the Shinto shrines something he justifies by saying that Kyoto was a city dominated by Buddhism That may be true but Shinto either allied with Buddhism in joint facilities like GionYasaka or not still played an important role read the Genji Monogatari and you realize the popularity of the Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrines and their festival The Matsuo shrine played an important role in sake brewing the Inari shrine predated the founding of the city The old housekeeper at Anrakuji welcomes the rare visitor to her temple enthusiastically for she has a fine story to tell and the opportunity to tell it comes seldom indeed Mosher on AnrakujiThe better the book the you miss temples that have not been included I miss my favorite Shisendo which Mosher calls too special but it could have been used to write about the life of Sinified intellectuals in the 17th century Rakushisha in Sagano could have served as the pillar for an essay about haiku culture in Kyoto Rokuharamitsuji would have made a great chapter about Taira Kiyomori whose statue stands in the temple Kyoto's history is rich indeed; I very much would have liked to read what Mosher has to say about these and other interesting places He should have written a second volumePS My edition carries a reproduction of a beautiful woodblock print by the late Clifton Karhu on the cover


  2. says:

    When I first came to Japan in 1984 to Kyoto this was my guide to the cultural history of the city It was showing age even then first published in 1964 but in charming or at least not bothersome ways references to the streetcars which even by the eighties no longer existed for example Much than a travel guide Mosher focuses on sixteen representative places and offers a compelling history of each The work has been in and out of print but seems to be available now Over the years I've given copies to several friends who were visiting Kyoto for the first time It's that sort of book I'd recommend it to anyone planning a visit real or imagined


  3. says:

    A must read before during and even after visiting Kyoto I am seriously on a hunt for a physical copy of this book I borrowed from a local library just so that I can read this over and over and over again no matter how many years from now or many times I have visited Kyoto The writing is so beautiful I did shed a tear or two at some points


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Kyoto A Contemplative Guide

Review ☆ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ó Gouverneur Mosher

The book falls into three parts Part I is a narrative which devotes a chapter to each location and discusses its background its place in history and its noteworthy aspects offering insights into its essence and bringing it alive for the reader Taken as a whole the narrative tells the story of Kyoto Part II is a comprehensive guide to each of the sixteen sights plus associated establishments With this guide the visitor needs no further assistance to learn all that a place has t.

Free read Kyoto A Contemplative Guide

O offer him It is factual concise and complete Part III Getting There and Back provides complete information on the practical aspects of visiting each place including public transportation routesThe book is generously illustrated with photographs maps route plans and building plans as well as a selection of reproductions from old prints and picture scrolls Three appendices a chart of Japanese art periods a glossary and a list of useful Japanese phrases further enhance its valu.

Review ☆ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ó Gouverneur Mosher

In brief it is a narrative and guide to sixteen representative sights which in addition to being outstanding in themselves combine to give the visitor a broad understanding of Kyoto's political religious and cultural history Among them arc the ancient Phoenix Hall of the Byodo in the famous rock garden at Ryoan ji the mountain temples of Enryaku ji the lavishly decorated Nijo Castle of the Tokugawas the Silver Pavilion and its remarkable garden and the all time temple Kiyomizu.

  • Paperback
  • 200
  • Kyoto A Contemplative Guide
  • Gouverneur Mosher
  • English
  • 16 February 2019
  • 9780804812948