Japanese Folkhouses

Norman F. Carver, Jr.


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Among the world’s indigenous buildings, the folk houses of Japan must rank among the most impressive in history.  This was an ancient tradition so elemental and resilient that it formed the soul of all Japanese architecture for over 1500 years – influencing structures from the primeval Ise Shrine to the elegant Katsura Palace.

First printed in 1984, and then out of print for several years, this newer edition was printed in 2003.  It has been expanded to include over 220 photographs, many of which were greatly enhanced by newer technology.  These extraordinary and insightful images were selected from hundreds made nearly 60 years ago when Japan and its countryside were still largely unchanged.  It is a world now almost entirely disappeared and one which we are unlikely to ever see again.

Norman F. Carver, Jr. (1928-2018) was an architect and graduate of Yale University.  The photographs for this book and his landmark study, “Form & Space in Japanese Architecture“, were done during two Fulbright grants in the 1950s and 1960s – before many important examples disappeared.  He is also the author of other books on the world’s vernacular architecture, including “Italian Hilltowns”, “Iberian Villages”, “Silent Cities”,  “North African Villages”, “Greek Island Villages”,  and “Angkor”.

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Norman F. Carver, Jr.


Softcover; 240pp