Tanizaki and his link with the interior architecture


A book that is an authentic marvel runs through our studio, we love it not just for the care and aesthetics of its edition, but also for the transversality of its content, applicable to many areas of life and, ultimately, to the historical comparison between the oriental and western world. In particular for interior architecture and our daily activity is a stop on the way to reflection, as well to rethink how we idealize our homes and what is that will provide us a better life quality.

We’re talking about In praise of shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki. The Japanese author reflects on the conception of the shadow, its beauty and subtlety and the traditional use in the East of it. While in the Western world historically the shadow is perceived as a negative concept, a place from which we must escape, in the East we find an opposite concept; the shadow is something beautiful, the preamble of something or simply a place of calm and beauty for the senses.

It is no coincidence that in ancient times, in the palaces and best homes in Europe, dishes, decorations and bright finishes were used, perhaps because of that obsession and persecution of gold. However, in oriental homonyms, the use of wood, matt finishes and black are the protagonists of homes. Moreover, there is an abysmal difference in the way of decorating and naming what is beautiful or not, sometimes creating a certain rejection of shadow and light, respectively, that maybe it’s the answer to why we are so surprised to discover ourselves among ourselves.

At certain times Tanizaki clearly flees from Western culture, probably result of his experience and maturity acquired in the Eastern world and consequently his love for the more typical elements of his land.

Tanizaki will have many detractors and followers, but one of the most universal reflections that is extracted after this reading is the need of both worlds of the existence of the other, two forces that are opposite but at the same time complementary.

Is that the key to proper decoration and distribution? Find the balance of shapes, lights and sizes? Anyway, It is not a bad starting point for any interior architecture project.