Posts Tagged ‘Meri Mitsuyoshi i’

“Turn down the lights!” Come join us for Tanizaki’s masterpiece, “In Praise of Shadows” on April 29!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

The eminent Japanese author Jun’ichirō Tanizaki has been called an “ecological prophet.”

Please join us for a discussion of his 1933 classic In Praise of Shadows. It’s coming up fast! Another Look will discuss Tanizaki’s 73-page essay at 7 p.m. (PST) on Monday, April 29, at Levinthal Hall in the Stanford Humanities Center at 424 Santa Teresa Street on the Stanford campus. This is a hybrid event, so you can come in person or via zoom, but we encourage you to register either way (link below). 

Some more praise for the book: “Tanizaki sums up what he feels Japan has lost in becoming modern. In brief, it is his view that the traditional Japanese arts thrived in the shade, and that the glaring light of the Twentieth Century is destroying them,” wrote Edward Seidensticker in The Atlantic in 1955. “At the end of the essay he suggests that we try turning down the lights.”

Ethen Wood, the associate director of Stanford’s Sustainable Architecture + Engineering, grew up in San Francisco’s Zen Buddhist community in the 80’s and spent part of his childhood in a Zen Buddhist monastery in the mountains of Carmel, without electricity. “This was part of a concerted effort by the temple to stay true to the traditions and historic experiences from Japan,” he said.

The book is available on or, at Kepler’s in Menlo Park, and Bell’s Books in Palo Alto (call first). It’s also available on Kindle. Register on the link below.

Panelists will include Stanford Prof. Robert Pogue Harrison, author, director of Another Look, host of the radio talk show and podcast series Entitled Opinions, and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, and three special guests: Mark Gonnerman, who has a Stanford PhD in religious studies, has been a student of Japanese histories and cultures since he first ventured to Kyoto in the mid-1970s. Meri Mitsuyoshi is a longtime Another Look aficionado whose appreciation of Japanese aesthetics is informed by study of ritual and intergenerational cultural transmission. 

This event is sponsored by the Stanford Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, the Continuing Studies Program at Stanford, and the Stanford Humanities Center.

Register here: