Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan
Just Enough is a book of stories, depictions of vanished ways of life told from the point of view of a contemporary observer. The stories tell how people lived in Japan some two hundred years ago, during the late Edo Period, when traditional technology and culture were at the peak of development and realization, just before the country opened itself to the West and joined the ranks of the industrialized nations. They tell of people overcoming many of the identical problems that confront us today - issues of energy, water, materials, food and population and forging a society that was conservation-minded, waste-free, well-housed, well-fed and economically robust. From these stories, readers will gain insight into what it is like to live in a sustainable society, not so much in terms of specific technical approaches, but rather, in terms of how larger concerns can guide daily decisions and how social and environmental contexts shape our courses of action.
"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