HISTORY, WHETHER THROUGH its presence or its absence, informs the architecture of modern Japan to a much greater degree than it does in many other countries. One one hand, the country’s millennia-long political, religious, and artistic history permeates its architectural culture to a tremendous degree, serving as an endless wellspring of inspiration and guidance for successive generations of architects and designers. On the other, Japanese architecture since 1868 (the beginning of the Meiji era that defines “modern” Japan) and especially since WWII has countless examples of structures that eschew homegrown traditions in favor of European and global styles, with some architects pursuing a specifically futurist and ahistorical aesthetic. The unprecedented building boom of the postwar period saw Japan emerge as a relentlessly forward-looking and technology-oriented society, with emerging megacities expanding at a breakneck pace.
GAME GUIDES OCCUPY a unique space in the present-day videogame universe. As with the guidebook industry as a whole (including everything from travel guides and maps to cookbooks, legal guides, and repair manuals), the option to simply consult an online forum is nearly always present. The result is a greater pressure on printed guides to offer beauty and substance, and to exist as complementary projects that stand on their own.