Topic: Concrete Japan
Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Modern JapanPublisher: Hill & Wang Pub (February 10, 2002) ISBN: 0809039435
by Alex Kerr
"A woman named Kato Shidzue, writing on her hundredth birthday in The Japan Times, lamented: `There must be many foreigners who come to Japan full of dreams about the country`s scenery after having read Lafcadio Hearn only to be surprised and upset at the sight of the Japanese so heartlessly destroying their own beautiful and unparalleled cultural legacy.` Sadly Ms. Kato is wrong. One looks in vain in the foreign media for expressions of surprise or conern at what has happened to Kyoto. It would seem that Western visitors fail to distinguish-perhaps it is parts of their condescension toward Asia- between well-preserved tourist sites and a thoroughly unpleasant city-scape. The fact that Kyoto has nice gardens on its periphery is enough to make them overlook the unwelcoming mass of glass and concrete cubes in the rest of the city."