Author(s): Ben Simmons
It has been said that "every city has its high points, but Tokyo is all exclamation points!" The largest and most populous city in the world, Tokyo must be experienced in person to truly be understood. The next best thing? "Tokyo Megacity"--a visual and descriptive exploration of a city that combines old with new and traditional with trendy, like no other city in the world. This extraordinary book explores Tokyo through 250 revealing photographs by well-known photographer Ben Simmons and over 30 essays by famed author Donald Richie. Their love of the city, their sense of its history, and the deep respect and pure joy felt in being here, shine through on every page. Simmons and Richie show us how modern Tokyo evolved from a patchwork of villages that still exist today as distinct neighborhoods and districts, to the modern, trendsetting metropolis renowned the world over--that combine to make Tokyo a unique and special place. "Tokyo Megacity" presents the districts of the city in the order that they originally developed, starting with the Imperial Palace, sliding down to the "Low City" along the Sumida River, soaring back up to the "Mid-City," and finally, climbing the hills to the newer districts of the "High City." The combination of Ben Simmons' photographs and Donald Richie's text capture, as never before, the tremendous diversity, vitality and sheer livability of the megacity that is Tokyo.
Donald Richie, novelist, essayist, composer, journalist, and film scholar, was born in Ohio but spent most of life witnessing and reporting on the transformation of Japan from the postwar devastation to its economic resurgence. He was the author of some forty books of fiction and nonfiction, dozens of speeches and essays, and hundreds of book, film, and arts reviews. Ben Simmons studied photography and psychology before completing a Master of Fine Arts in photography and art history. He taught photography at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina before relocating to Japan. Owner of Ben Simmons Photography Inc., he travels the world to capture evocative images for assignments, photo essays, books, and original prints. Recent books include "Traditional Japanese Architecture" and "Kyoto: City of Zen."