Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan
Paperback ISBN: 080484755x
This is a complete, two-volume set of one of the greatest books on 19th century Japanese history and culture. Though Lafcadio Hearn went on to write a dozen more books on Japan, this collection of first impressions remains his most popular. Among the reasons is that here, more than anywhere else, the author most vividly captured a place that so affected him that he stayed for the rest of his life. The modern reader can still, through these pages, experience that "first charm of Japan, intangible and volatile as a perfume." Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan combines two volumes of a work that first appeared in 1894. In the pages of this book are the customs, the superstitions, the charming scenery, the revelations of Japanese character, and all the other elements that Lafcadio Hearn found so bewitching. Here, for example, are essays on such subjects as the Japanese garden, the household shrine, the festivals, and the bewildering Japanese smile—all aspects of Japanese life that have endured in spite of the changes that have taken place during the modernization of Japan. The Japanese character and the Japanese tradition are still fundamentally the same as Hearn found them to be, and for this reason his writing is still extremely revealing to modern readers. This edition also contains a new foreword by noted writer and examiner of Japanese culture Donnie Richie that puts Lafcadio Hearn and his classic works into perspective for readers just discovering Hearn's writing for the first time.
The Englishman Who Opened Japan
Paperback ISBN: 0142003786
Vividly recreates England's first encounter with Japan, an exotic country that had been inaccessible to foreigners for years, which was brought about when a stranded English mariner named William Adams assimilated himself into Japanese culture and profoundly impacted the Shogun's decision to open his country to the world. Reprint.
A Brief History of Japan
Samurai, Shogun and Zen: The Extraordinary Story of the Land of the Rising Sun
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 4805313897
This fascinating history tells the story of the people of Japan, from ancient teenage priest-queens to teeming hordes of salarymen, a nation that once sought to conquer China, yet also shut itself away for two centuries in self-imposed seclusion. First revealed to Westerners in the chronicles of Marco Polo, Japan was a legendary faraway land defended by a fearsome Kamikaze storm and ruled by a divine sovereign. It was the terminus of the Silk Road, the furthest end of the known world, a fertile source of inspiration for European artists, and an enduring symbol of the mysterious East. In recent times, it has become a powerhouse of global industry, a nexus of popular culture, and a harbinger of postindustrial decline. With intelligence and wit, author Jonathan Clements blends documentary and storytelling styles to connect the past, present and future of Japan, and in broad yet detailed strokes reveals a country of paradoxes: a modern nation steeped in ancient traditions; a democracy with an emperor as head of state; a famously safe society built on 108 volcanoes resting on the world's most active earthquake zone; a fast-paced urban and technologically advanced country whose land consists predominantly of mountains and forests. Among the chapters in this Japanese history book are: - The Way of the Gods: Prehistoric and Mythical Japan - A Game of Thrones: Minamoto vs. Taira - Time Warp: 200 Years of Isolation - The Stench of Butter: Restoration and Modernization - The New Breed: The Japanese Miracle
Memoirs of a Gangster's Daughter
Paperback ISBN: 477003086x
Born to a wealthy and powerful yakuza boss, Shoko Tendo lived the early years of her life in luxury. However, when she was six, everything changed: her father was jailed, and the family fell into debt. Bullied by her classmates because of her father's activities, and terrorized at home by her father, who became a drunken, violent monster after his release from prison, Tendo rebelled. As a teenager she became a drug addict and a member of a girl gang. At the age of 15 she spent eight months in a juvenile detention center after getting into a fight with another gang. During Japan's bubble economy of the eighties, Tendo worked as a bar hostess, attracting many rich and loyal customers, and earning money to help her family out of debt. But there were also abusive clients, one of whom beat her so badly that her face was left permanently scarred. Her mother died, plunging Tendo into a depression so deep that she tried to commit suicide. Somehow, Tendo overcame these tough times. A turning point was getting a full-body tattoo with a design centered on a geisha with a dagger in her mouth, an act that empowered her to change her life. She quit her job as a hostess. On her last day at work, she looked up at the full moon, which became a symbol of her struggle to become whole, and the title of the book she wrote as an epitaph for herself and her family. The paperback edition of Yakuza Moon features 16-pages of never-before-seen photos of Tendos youth, family, and tattoos, as well as a new foreword by the author, describing her life since the book was first published four years ago. "Emotionally complex and thoroughly heart-rending, this book is recommended for anyone searching for a more thorough and personal understanding of Japanese society. Publishers Weekly "The first female ever to break the code of silence and speak about life for women in the underworld...her best-selling memoir shocked [Japan]...with its graphic accounts of her addictions to sex, drugs and violent lovers. Marie Claire [Tendos] story...shines a light into a dark and little understood corner of modern Japan." The Guardian "The book offers a rare woman's view of Japan's criminal underbelly. The Independent "Much has been written about Japan's gangsterstheir full-body tattoos, boozing, womanizing, strict honor codes and occasional explosions of violence. Very little has been heard from their lovers, daughters or wives. Tendo has been all three." Bloomberg "A chilling and tawdry tale about family life and romance among the yakuza. The Wall Street Journal "A raw, heartbreaking account of damaged youth." Bust "A thrilling memoir...an exclusive glimpse into a life rarely experienced firsthand." Time Out Chicago
Walking the Kiso Road
A Modern-Day Exploration of Old Japan
Paperback ISBN: 1611801257
This travelogue takes general readers on a journey to appreciate the history and natural beauty of a popular tourist destination called Kiso Road, a trading and military road used for several thousand years in the Kiso Valley of the Japanese Alps. The author explores the art, cuisine, architecture, and local culture of the 11 towns on the route, with special focus on finding traces of the poets, philosophers, and priests who have walked the road. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
Giants of Japan
The Lives of Japan's Greatest Men and Women
Paperback ISBN: 1568363249
Giants of Japan brings to life fifteen centuries of Japanese history through lively biographical sketches of the great men and women who have shaped this fascinating and complex country. Covering industry, the arts, religion, and politics, the book includes business titans such as Morita Akio, founder of Sony, and Toyoda Eiji, the man behind Toyota's incredible success; creative giants such as writer Mishima Yukio and film director Kurosawa Akira; and historical icons such as Shotoku, the prince who helped bring Buddhism to Japan, and Izumo no Okuni, the actress and dancer who created kabuki theater. The economies and futures of the West and Japan are now more interdependent than ever, yet Japan remains very much a mystery to many Westerners. The more than forty profiles in this entertaining and enlightening book are essential knowledge about a nation that is a key player on the world stage.