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THE BRIDGE OF THE BROCADE SASH by Sacheverell Sitwell Kirkus Star



Pub Date: March 22nd, 1960
Publisher: World

A rare blend of objectivity and sensitivity pervades Sacheverell Sitwell's, account of a journey through Japan. Mr. Sitwell, whose Portugal and Madeira has already marked him as a traveler of unique awareness, comes to Japan with an impressive background knowledge of the country's history, art, theater, and artifacts. He uses this background modestly, delicately, to give body to his brilliant impressions, but never as the schoolmaster, in a dreary recitation of fact. In his description of the Kyoto gardens, Nara, of Fuji suspended above a lightning storm, of the porcelain cheek of a little dancing girl, he imparts the full flavor of tiny Japan in its love of the exquisite, the perfectly formed. And with equal vividness he portrays the noisy, neoned streets of Tokyo, the department stores with their hybrid horrors of eastern and western fashion, Hiroshima with its sinister modernity. Every pertinent aspect of Japanese folk and formal art is described here--the prints, screens, porcelain, puppets, stunted trees, kimonos--in context of steps on the author's journey. Japanese cuisine and clothing are also discussed with references to types of hotels and restaurants, not generally within the orbit of the Western tourist.