This publication sketches a landscape of Japanese playgrounds without suggesting a unitary point of view nor aiming at completeness. It approaches such territory by distinguishing it from what Europe and the United States offer in that respect, processing and revealing aspects not thought of in the Western world : the question of surviving disaster, but also those of the garden and the environment.
This anthology brings together texts translated from Japanese and English, photographs, and facsimiles of publications and archives – often unpublished – at the crossroads of Japan's history of architecture, urbanism, design, pedagogy and contemporary art. It focuses in particular on several historical figures such as playground designers Kurō Kaneko, Kenichiro Ikehara and Mitsuru Senda, or Takashi Asada's Kodomo no kuni Park for which Isamu Noguchi made his first playground and the metabolic architects (Takashi Asada, Kiyoniri Kikutake, Kishō Kurokawa and Sachio Ōtani) imagined buildings as iconic as they are understudied so far.
This anthology also includes texts by artist Tarō Okamoto, translated into French for the first time, on the relationship between art and play, as well as texts by art historian and influential critic Noi Sawaragi on the links between Kodomo no kuni and the 1970 Osaka World Expo, and on adventure playgrounds, which still exist in Japan.
Edited by Vincent Romagny.
Texts by Vincent Romagny, Kurō Kaneko, Mary Mitchell, Isamu Noguchi, Takashi Asada, Sachio Ōtani, Noi Sawaragi, Tarō Okamoto, Hideaki Amano, Helen Woolley, Isami Kinoshita, Kenichiro Ikehara, Mitsuru Senda.
Graphic design: Marie Proyart & Malou Messien (Catalogue Général).