"Brown's book Just Enough is a compelling account of how Edo Japan confronted similar environmental problems and created solutions that connected farms and cities, people and nature." —Huffington Post
The world has changed immeasurably over the last thirty years, with more, bigger, better being the prevailing mantra. But in the midst of this constantly evolving world, there is a growing community of people who are looking at our history, searching for answers to issues that are faced everywhere, such as energy, water, materials, food and population crisis.
In Just Enough, author Azby Brown turned to the history of Japan, where he finds a number of lessons on living in a sustainable society that translate beyond place and time. This book of stories depicts vanished ways of life from the point of view of a contemporary observer and presents a compelling argument around how to forge a society that is conservation-minded, waste-free, well-housed, well-fed and economically robust.
Included at the end of each section are lessons in which Brown elaborates on what Edo Period life has to offer us in the global battle to reverse environmental degradation. Covering topics on everything from transportation, interconnected systems, and waste reduction to the need for spiritual centers in the home, there is something here for everyone looking to make changes in their life.
Just Enough is a much-needed beacon in our evolving world, giving us hope in our efforts to achieve sustainability now.
"In a work of astonishing imagination and intelligence, Brown, a professor of design based in Japan, looks back to the Edo era (Tokyo, 1603–1868) and sees parallels between the ecological collapse then and environmental malaise now. The challenge: "to link our sophisticated technical systems to the kind of mentality that those prescient forbears displayed." — Library Journal
About the Author: Azby Brown, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana is the director of KIT Future Design Institute in Tokyo. He studied architecture and sculpture at Yale College, graduating in 1980, and entered the Department of Architecture of the University of Tokyo in 1985 under a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education. He received his master's degree in 1988 and completed his Ph.D. research in 1995. He is the author of The Genius of Japanese Carpentry (1995), Small Spaces (1996), The Japanese Dream House (2001), and The Very Small Home (2005), all published by Kodansha International. He became an associate professor of architectural design at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology in 1995 and currently holds a position there in the Department of Media Informatics.