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Sunday, March 28, 2004


Book bites

CREATING THE SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL SCULPTURES, by M. Sally Kobayashi. Hokkaido: Books 43 Degrees North, 40 pp., illustrated, 1,000 yen (paper).

SAKURA SHIJOU (Sakura: Poetic Symbol of Japan), by Johnny Hymas. Gakushu-Kenkyusha, 2004, 95 pp., 3,300 yen (cloth).

The Sapporo Snow Festival attracts some 2 million people each February. What they flock to see are the amazing snow sculptures -- massive architectural wonders that have in the past included frozen replicas of St. Paul's and the Trevi Fountain. This year there was a snow Parthenon.

How they are designed and built has long excited interest, and this book explains it all.

Online order: contact@books43degreesnorth.com

Johnny Hymas, a British-born photographer residing in Japan, needs no introduction to those familiar with Japanese landscape photography.

His colorful history as a competition gymnast and acrobatic performer allowed him to travel the world and develop the skill of taking atmospheric images. Since moving here in 1969, he has focused primarily on beautiful Japanese landscapes.

Already well-exhibited and published in both English and Japanese, his works have included images of culture, flowers and seasonal changes. This publication is devoted to spring cherry blossoms.

More than 80 color photographs of cherry blossoms taken throughout Japan are presented in a text-sparse format. Although published in Japanese only, it is still delightful for any lover of photography.

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