A Collection of Soils

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A Collection of Soils
Author: Koichi Kurita
Specifications: ISBN  978-4577028605
48 pages
21.7 x 28.7 cm / 8.7 x 11.5 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 6+
Publisher: Froebel-kan
Tokyo, 2004
Buy now: amazon.co.jp


Author Koichi Kurita has gathered soil samples from all over Japan, drying them, breaking up the lumps, and sifting them through fine-meshed sieves to reduce them to minute grains. From the process emerges an amazing variety of beautiful colors?pink, yellow, dark blue, gray. A photograph of these samples arranged in neatly spaced rows of small conical mounds graces the cover of the book, evoking a sense of wonder when we realize that soil is much more than brown or black dirt. Kurita is the first person to show us the hidden beauty of soil in this way, completely overturning preconceptions of something we thought was so familiar.

The pages naturally give rise to observations and questions of all kinds. Looking at the soils by region, we might note that grays dominate the soils of cold Hokkaido, or wonder why there seem to be so many bright colors?yellow, pink, purple?in the soils of Hokuriku, the region on the central Sea of Japan coast that includes the Noto Peninsula.

Kurita offers an explanation of how soils form, and why they take on so many different colors?with the ultimate conclusion that the tremendous variety of soils found in Japan owes to its rich and diverse natural heritage. Also included are instructions for processing soil into fine particles for use as pigments for dyeing paper or making paints, pastels, and crayons?offering yet another way of capturing children's imaginations. (Sachiyo Hosoe)