This book was published in 1963, and it is one of my favorite on Japanese design. Katachi means form: this book is a perfect collection of Japan in form. It shows a broad spectrum of traditional designs and patterns, which are as much a part of the landscape and language, as they are art. The incredibly charming photos by Takeji Iwamiya are as simple and deep as their subject. A lot of these photos remind me of my first trip to Japan and the photos I took those many years ago.
It is fascinating to flip through images and see shapes interact with materials, and how the combination of those define Japan’s arts and crafts. This book is required reading if you are at all interested in seeing how the cultural and daily patterns of Japanese life surface in the crafts and everyday items.