Zen Spaces and Neon Places: Reflections on Japanese Architecture and Urbanism by Vinayak Bharne

CJRC Book Launch Event

A celebration of the latest book by Vinayak Bharne, Adjunct Associate Professor of Urbanism, Sol Price School of Public Policy. Please join us!

Zen Spaces and Neon Places - Reflections on Japanese Architecture and Urbanism
Moving across Japanese history in time and space, from its ancient Shinto beginnings to its largest recorded earthquake, and from the spiritual calm of the Ise Shrine and Ryoan-ji Temple to the psychedelic consumerism of Shinjuku and Ginza, Zen Spaces & Neon Places captures the multifarious dimensions and interweaves of the Japanese built environment – its historic buildings and post-industrial cities; monastic gardens and digital streetscapes; modern landmarks and theme parks; and concurrent propensities for kinky love hotels and contemplative tea huts. It probes into the vital defining moments in Japanese history – the import of Tang Dynasty prototypes, establishment of Kyoto, advent of Zen, reforestation policy of the Tokugawa, entry of European influences, insinuation of Western democracy, rise and collapse of the economic bubble, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster – and their transformative effects in shaping and re-shaping the Japanese built landscape we see today. Combining two decades of scholarship, fieldwork, and personal experience, this landmark volume reveals how Japan’s cultural threads have endured through negotiations, shifts and mutations, and why Japan remains an important reference point for our times.

Author Biography
Vinayak Bharne is an award-winning urban designer and planner in private practice in Los Angeles, Adjunct Associate Professor of Urbanism at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, Lecturer at the USC School of Architecture and Associated Faculty Member at the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. A former Asia-Pacific Development Commission Traveling Scholar to Japan, his books include The Emerging Asian City: Concomitant Urbanities & Urbanisms, and Rediscovering the Hindu Temple: The Sacred Architecture & Urbanism of India.