"An elegiac prose celebration . . . a classic in its genre."—Publishers WeeklyIn this acclaimed travel memoir, Donald Richie paints a memorable portrait of the island-studded Inland Sea. His existential ruminations on food, culture, and love and his brilliant descriptions of life and landscape are a window into an Old Japan that has now nearly vanished. Included are the twenty black and white photographs by Yoichi Midorikawa that accompanied the original 1971 edition.Donald Richie (1924–2013) was an internationally recognized expert on Japanese culture and film.Yoichi Midorikawa (1915–2001) was one of Japan's foremost nature photographers.
Tokyo may be the capital of Japan, but Kyoto is its heart and soul. The rich textures of twelve centuries of culture seem to have woven themselves into the very air. How else could you explain the centuries-old feel of the Gion quarter, where geisha still ply their trade? Or the quiet dignity of the cobblestone back streets lined with traditional wooden houses?Seeing Kyoto captures all the elegance and charm of Japan's most beloved city with dozens of stunning images. One can imagine the days when aristocrats and samurai inhabited these neighborhoods. With insightful text, long-time Japan resident juliet Carpenter delves into the cultural history of Kyoto, as well as its treasures — artistic, culinary, and historical. She also introduces the neighboring city of Nara, often referred to as "little Kyoto." Finally, Carpenter tackles the clash of old and new: how Kyotoites, in their inimitable vigor, are turning the traditions of yesterday into the strengths of today.With a lyrical foreword by tea master Sen Soshitsu, Seeing Kyoto offers an unparalleled view of one of the world's finest cities. It explores everything from the ancient palaces to sacred temple grounds, classic Japanese gardens to treasured artworks — in short, a deluxe volume not to be missed.
DK Eyewitness travel guides: award-winning guidebooksDiscover Japan with this essential travel guide, designed to help you create your own unique trip and to transport you to this fascinating country before you've even packed your case - catch the buzz of futuristic Tokyo, step back in time in Kyoto, hike in mountainous Hokkaido or snorkel in Okinawa's clear waters. The DK Eyewitness Guide to Japan covers the must-see sights and the hidden backstreets, so you won't miss a thing. • Gorgeous, all-new colour photography so you can imagine yourself there • Reasons to love Japan: incredible culture, natural wonders, a unique culinary scene - what will yours be? • See Japan from a different angle - 30 pages of fresh ideas for exploring this spectacular country • A year-long calendar of events in Japan gives a selection of celebrations and festivals for all seasons • Expert advice covers the practical stuff: get ready, get around and stay safe • Detailed, colour maps help you navigate the country with ease • Expert tips to make memories that last - where to snap and share the perfect photo, take in stunning views and escape the crowds • The most authentic places to stay, eat, drink and shop • Easy-to-follow walks and itineraries cover the whole country, with plenty of eat and drink stops en route • Hand-drawn illustrations show the inside of the must-see attractions, including Tokyo's Senso-ji Temple, Kyoto's Nijo Castle and the majestic Himeji Castle • Covers Tokyo; Central Honshu; Kyoto City; Western Honshu; Shikoku; Kyushu; Okinawa; Northern Honshu; and HokkaidoDK Eyewitness Travel Guide Japan is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you create your own unique trip.On a shorter trip? Try our DK Eyewitness Top 10 Tokyo.About DK Eyewitness Travel: For 25 years, DK's beautifully practical Eyewitness guides have been combining inspiring ideas and expert advice with easy-to-read maps and vivid photography to inform and enrich your holiday. This year they have been given a stunning new look that you will love even more. DK is the world's leading illustrated reference publisher, producing beautifully designed books for adults and children in over 120 countries.
Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History (Updated)
By: Bruce Cumings Ph.D.
"Passionate, cantankerous, and fascinating. Rather like Korea itself."--Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times Book Review Korea has endured a "fractured, shattered twentieth century," and this updated edition brings Bruce Cumings's leading history of the modern era into the present. The small country, overshadowed in the imperial era, crammed against great powers during the Cold War, and divided and decimated by the Korean War, has recently seen the first real hints of reunification. But positive movements forward are tempered by frustrating steps backward. In the late 1990s South Korea survived its most severe economic crisis since the Korean War, forcing a successful restructuring of its political economy. Suffering through floods, droughts, and a famine that cost the lives of millions of people, North Korea has been labeled part of an "axis of evil" by the George W. Bush administration and has renewed its nuclear threats. On both sides Korea seems poised to continue its fractured existence on into the new century, with potential ramifications for the rest of the world. 25 illustrations
Kyoto, the ancient former capital of Japan, breathes history and mystery. Its temples, gardens and palaces are testimony to many centuries of aristocratic and religious grandeur. Under the veneer of modernity, the city remains filled with countless reminders of a proud past. John Dougill explores this most venerable of Japanese cities, revealing the spirit of place and the individuals that have shaped its often dramatic history. Courtiers and courtesans, poets and priests, samurai and geisha people the pages of his account. Covering twelve centuries in all, the book not only provides a historical overview but also brings to life the cultural magnificence of the city of "Purple Hills and Crystal Streams."
“[A]n excellent book...” —The EconomistFinancial Times Asia editor David Pilling presents a fresh vision of Japan, drawing on his own deep experience, as well as observations from a cross section of Japanese citizenry, including novelist Haruki Murakami, former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, teenagers and octogenarians. Through their voices, Pilling's Bending Adversity captures the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Japan.Pilling’s exploration begins with the 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. His deep reporting reveals both Japan’s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to understand the country’s past through cycles of crisis and reconstruction. Japan’s survivalist mentality has carried it through tremendous hardship, but is also the source of great destruction: It was the nineteenth-century struggle to ward off colonial intent that resulted in Japan’s own imperial endeavor, culminating in the devastation of World War II. Even the postwar economic miracle—the manufacturing and commerce explosion that brought unprecedented economic growth and earned Japan international clout might have been a less pure victory than it seemed. In Bending Adversity Pilling questions what was lost in the country’s blind, aborted climb to #1. With the same rigor, he revisits 1990—the year the economic bubble burst, and the beginning of Japan’s “lost decades”—to ask if the turning point might be viewed differently. While financial struggle and national debt are a reality, post-growth Japan has also successfully maintained a stable standard of living and social cohesion. And while life has become less certain, opportunities—in particular for the young and for women—have diversified. Still, Japan is in many ways a country in recovery, working to find a way forward after the events of 2011 and decades of slow growth. Bending Adversity closes with a reflection on what the 2012 reelection of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation policy, might mean for Japan and its future. Informed throughout by the insights shared by Pilling’s many interview subjects, Bending Adversity rigorously engages with the social, spiritual, financial, and political life of Japan to create a more nuanced representation of the oft-misunderstood island nation and its people.The Financial Times“David Pilling quotes a visiting MP from northern England, dazzled by Tokyo’s lights and awed by its bustling prosperity: ‘If this is a recession, I want one.’ Not the least of the merits of Pilling’s hugely enjoyable and perceptive book on Japan is that he places the denunciations of two allegedly “lost decades” in the context of what the country is really like and its actual achievements.”The Telegraph (UK)“Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times, is perfectly placed to be our guide, and his insights are a real rarity when very few Western journalists communicate the essence of the world’s third-largest economy in anything but the most superficial ways. Here, there is a terrific selection of interview subjects mixed with great reportage and fact selection... he does get people to say wonderful things. The novelist Haruki Murakami tells him: “When we were rich, I hated this country”... well-written... valuable.”Publishers Weekly (starred):"A probing and insightful portrait of contemporary Japan."
The world of the samurai, the legendary, elite warrior cult of old Japan, has for too long been associated solely with military history and has remained a mystery. In this exciting new book, Stephen Turnbull, the world's leading authority on the samurai, goes beyond the battlefield to paint a picture of the samurai as they really were. The world of the samurai warrior is revealed to be one of great richness, with familiar topics such as the cult of suicide, ritualized revenge, and the lore of the samurai sword, seen in the context of an all-encompassing warrior culture that was expressed through art and poetry as much as through violence.
The Art of Setting Stones: And Other Writings from the Japanese Garden
By: Marc Peter Keane
In Japanese gardens, composition follows from placement of the first stone; all elements and plantings become interconnected. These eight essays on Kyoto gardens similarly begin with keen description and build into richly meditative excursions into art, Buddhism, nature, and science. Landscape architect Marc Keane shows how Japanese gardens are both a microcosm of the natural universe and a clear expression of our humanity, mirroring how we think, worship, and organize our lives and communities. Filled with passages of alluring beauty, this is a truly transcendent book about "experiencing" Japanese design.Marc Peter Keane has lived in Kyoto for 17 years and is author of Japanese Garden Design. He designs residential, company, and temple gardens.
Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey
By: Marie Mutsuki Mockett
“Read it. You will be uplifted.”―Ruth Ozeki, Zen priest, author of A Tale for the Time BeingMarie Mutsuki Mockett's family owns a Buddhist temple 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In March 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, radiation levels prohibited the burial of her Japanese grandfather's bones. As Japan mourned thousands of people lost in the disaster, Mockett also grieved for her American father, who had died unexpectedly.Seeking consolation, Mockett is guided by a colorful cast of Zen priests and ordinary Japanese who perform rituals that disturb, haunt, and finally uplift her. Her journey leads her into the radiation zone in an intricate white hazmat suit; to Eiheiji, a school for Zen Buddhist monks; on a visit to a Crab Lady and Fuzzy-Headed Priest’s temple on Mount Doom; and into the "thick dark" of the subterranean labyrinth under Kiyomizu temple, among other twists and turns. From the ecstasy of a cherry blossom festival in the radiation zone to the ghosts inhabiting chopsticks, Mockett writes of both the earthly and the sublime with extraordinary sensitivity. Her unpretentious and engaging voice makes her the kind of companion a reader wants to stay with wherever she goes, even into the heart of grief itself.
In the late 1980s, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester set out on foot to discover the Republic of Korea -- from its southern tip to the North Korean border -- in order to set the record straight about this enigmatic and elusive land.Fascinating for its vivid presentation of historical and geographic detail, Korea is that rare book that actually defines a nation and its people. Winchester's gift for capturing engaging characters in true, compelling stories provides us with a treasury of enchanting and informed insight on the culture, language, history, and politics of this little-known corner of Asia.With a new introduction by the author, Korea is a beautiful journey through a mysterious country and a memorable addition to the many adventures of Simon Winchester.
A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it. In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.
Junichirō Tanizaki’s magisterial evocation of a proud Osaka family in decline during the years immediately before World War II is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century and a classic of international literature. Tsuruko, the eldest sister of the once-wealthy Makioka family, clings obstinately to the prestige of her family name even as her husband prepares to move their household to Tokyo, where that name means nothing. Sachiko compromises valiantly to secure the future of her younger sisters. The shy, unmarried Yukiko is a hostage to her family’s exacting standards, while the spirited Taeko rebels by flinging herself into scandalous romantic alliances and dreaming of studying fashion design in France. Filled with vignettes of a vanishing way of life, The Makioka Sisters is a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family—and an entire society—sliding into the abyss of modernity. It possesses in abundance the keen social insight and unabashed sensuality that distinguish Tanizaki as a master novelist.From the Hardcover edition.
Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime—beginning in Japanese—has arrived at middle age wanting for almost nothing. The postwar years have brought him a fine marriage, two daughters, and an enviable career as the proprietor of two jazz clubs. Yet a nagging sense of inauthenticity about his success threatens Hajime’s happiness. And a boyhood memory of a wise, lonely girl named Shimamoto clouds his heart. In South of the Border, West of the Sun, the simple arc of a man’s life—with its attendant rhythms of success and disappointment—becomes the exquisite literary terrain of Haruki Murakami’s most haunting work. When Shimamoto shows up one rainy night, now a breathtaking beauty with a secret from which she is unable to escape, the fault lines of doubt in Hajime’s quotidian existence begin to give way. And the details of stolen moments past and present—a Nat King Cole melody, a face pressed against a window, a handful of ashes drifting downriver to the sea—threaten to undo him completely. Rich, mysterious, quietly dazzling, South of the Border, West of the Sun is Haruki Murakami’s wisest and most compelling work.