In Praise of Shadows

“Find beauty not only in the thing itself

but in the pattern of the shadows,

the light and dark which that thing provides.”

― Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows

Junichiro Tanizaki
First published in Japanese 1933. English translation, Leete’s Island Books 1977

In his delightful essay on Japanese taste Junichiro Tanizaki talks about attitude of appreciation and mindfulness of things that are beautiful. Beauty that is seen through the pallete of delicate nuances like the softness of shadows and age.

Reading this precious work made me appreciate Japanese aesthetic even more and has greatly influenced my photography.