Japan Travel Guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before Going To Japan

Ken Fukuyama - 2019
    After having their first child in 1986, they have decided to pursue their long-hidden dream of exploring the world. Inspired by their life-changing adventure throughout the world, they have decided to serve as a tour guide. This happy couple has been serving as a Japan local tour guide for more than 30 years now. In their effort to show the world what Japan truly is, they have decided to write a book about it. Download your copy today! Take action and experience Japan at its fullest potential now! Get this book for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

In the Tunnel (Kindle Single)

Takamichi Okubo - 2013
    He is grieving for the loss of his wife when the tunnel collapses and traps the bus inside. In the darkness that follows, he manages to fumble out of the bus with the only other survivor, an astute and gentle woman who reminds him of his late wife. Without any light to guide them and with only each other to depend on, they try to escape the stifling darkness and along the way find themselves confronted by their pasts and given their last chance at intimacy, and ultimately, absolution.A realist story that plays with surreal elements, the tale poses a simple question: what is the meaning of hope?

Bag of Meat on Ball of Dirt (Kindle Single)

Mara Altman - 2016
    That quixotic quest for understanding has drawn much of the world’s population eastward ever since Buddha first assumed the lotus position, and writer Mara Altman needed to know why. So she flew around the world in search of an answer not only to that mystery, but also to the deeper questions that plague all who yearn to define the meaning of life. What Altman found in her wild, comic 18-day reporting trek across India – a journey that took her on a laborious, 37-hour cross-country train trip, onto a mystical flat rock by the ocean in Pondicherry, and eventually into the emergency room of a cut-rate Bangalore hospital – will make you laugh, learn and ponder. By the end of her epic odyssey, it will also take you unexpectedly and thrillingly close to the pulsing heart of human existence. After graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Mara Altman worked as a staff writer for The Village Voice. In 2009, HarperCollins published Altman's first book, Thanks For Coming: A Young Woman's Quest for an Orgasm, which was optioned as a comedy series by HBO. She has published seven bestselling Kindle Singles, including the #1 bestseller Bearded Lady, and has also written for New York Magazine and The New York Times. Cover design by Adil Dara

The Book of Tea

Kakuzō Okakura - 1906
    A keepsake enjoyed by tea lovers for over a hundred years, The Book of Tea Classic Edition will enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the seemingly simple act of making and drinking tea.In 1906 in turn-of-the-century Boston, a small, esoteric book about tea was written with the intention of being read aloud in the famous salon of Isabella Gardner, Boston's most notorious socialite. It was authored by Okakura Kakuzo, a Japanese philosopher, art expert, and curator. Little known at the time, Kakuzo would emerge as one of the great thinkers of the early 20th century, a genius who was insightful, witty—and greatly responsible for bridging Western and Eastern cultures. Okakura had been taught at a young age to speak English and was more than capable of expressing to Westerners the nuances of tea and the Japanese Tea Ceremony.In The Book of Tea Classic Edition, he discusses such topics as Zen and Taoism, but also the secular aspects of tea and Japanese life. The book emphasizes how Teaism taught the Japanese many things; most importantly, simplicity. Kakuzo argues that tea-induced simplicity affected the culture, art and architecture of Japan.Nearly a century later, Kakuzo's The Book of Tea Classic Edition is still beloved the world over, making it an essential part of any tea enthusiast's collection. Interwoven with a rich history of Japanese tea and its place in Japanese society is a poignant commentary on Asian culture and our ongoing fascination with it, as well as illuminating essays on art, spirituality, poetry, and more. The Book of Tea Classic Edition is a delightful cup of enlightenment from a man far ahead of his time.

Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto

Victoria Abbott Riccardi - 2003
    She arrived in Kyoto, a city she had dreamed about but never seen, with two bags, an open-ended plane ticket, and the ability to speak only sushi-bar Japanese. She left a year later, having learned the language, the art of kaiseki, and what was truly important to her. Through special introductions and personal favors, Victoria was able to attend one of Kyoto’s most prestigious tea schools, where this ago-old Japanese art has been preserved for generations and where she was taken under the wing of an American expatriate who became her mentor in the highly choreographed rituals of this extraordinary culinary discipline. During her year in Kyoto, Victoria explored the mysterious and rarefied world of tea kaiseki, living a life inaccessible to most foreigners. She also discovered the beguiling realm of modern-day Japanese food—the restaurants, specialty shops, and supermarkets. She participated in many fast-disappearing culinary customs, including making mochi (chewy rice cakes) by hand, a beloved family ritual barely surviving in a mechanized age. She celebrated the annual cleansing rites of New Year’s, donning an elaborate kimono and obi for a thirty-four-course extravaganza. She includes twenty-five recipes for favorite dishes she encountered, such as Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl, Japanese Beef and Vegetable Hotpot, and Green-Tea Cooked Salmon Over Rice. Untangling My Chopsticks is a sumptuous journey into the tastes, traditions, and exotic undercurrents of Japan. It is also a coming-of-age tale steeped in history and ancient customs, a thoughtful meditation on life, love, and learning in another land.


David Murray - 1894
    In Toscanelli's map, used by Columbus as the basis of his voyages, “Cipango” occupies a prominent place to the east of Asia, with no American continent between it and Europe. It was the aim of Columbus, and of many subsequent explorers, to find a route to this reputedly rich island and to the eastern shores of Asia. The latitude of the most northern point of Yezo is 45° 35', and the latitude of the most southern point of Kyushu is 31°. The longitude of the most eastern point of Yezo is 146° 17', and the longitude of the most western point of Kyushu is 130° 31'. The four principal islands therefore extend through 14° 35' of latitude and 15° 46' of longitude. The empire consists of four large islands and not less than three thousand small ones. Some of these small islands are large enough to constitute distinct provinces, but the greater part are too small to have a separate political existence, and are attached for administrative purposes to the parts of the large islands opposite to which they lie. The principal island is situated between Yezo on the north and Kyushu on the south. From Omasaki, the northern extremity at the Tsugaru straits, to Tokyo, the capital, the island runs nearly north and south a distance of about 590 miles, and from Tokyo to the Shimonoseki straits the greatest extension of the island is nearly east and west, a distance of about 540 miles. That is, measuring in the direction of the greatest extension, the island is about 1130 miles long. The width of the island is nowhere greater than two hundred miles and for much of its length not more than one hundred miles. The second largest island is Yezo, lying northeast from the Main island and separated from it by the Tsugaru straits. Its longest line is from Cape Shiretoko at its northeast extremity to Cape Shira-kami on Tsugaru straits, about 350 miles; and from its northern point, Cape Soya on the La Perouse straits to Yerimosaki, it measures about 270 miles. The centre of the island is an elevated peak, from which rivers flow in all directions to the ocean. Hakodate the principal port is situated on Tsugaru straits and possesses one of the most commodious harbors of the empire

Living in Japan

Alex Kerr - 2006
    Yet contemporary Japanese designers and architects keep finding new ways to refurbish and take inspiration from the ways of old. Whether it's a pristinely preserved traditional house or a cutting-edge apartment, the best Japanese homes share a love of cleverly designed spaces and warm materials such as wood, bricks, and bamboo. From a thatched roof farmhouse occupied by a Zen priest to Tadao Ando's experimental 4x4 House, Shigeru Ban's conceptual Shutter House, and a beautiful homage to bamboo in the form of a home, this book traverses the multifaceted landscape of Japanese living today. Also included is a list of addresses and a glossary of terms, such as tatami.

Haiku Love

Alan Cummings - 2013
    Poems from the 1600s to the present day are beautifully illustrated with images from the unrivaled collection of Japanese paintings and prints in the British Museum. The majority of the poems come from the Tokugawa period (early seventeenth to mid nineteenth centuries) and include works from the best-known Japanese classical authors, female poets and a number of contemporary writers. Nearly all are newly translated by Alan Cummings.From the tender and the melancholy to the witty and the ribald, the poems and images in Haiku Love comment on the most universal of human emotions.

Abandoning a Cat: Memories of my Father

Haruki Murakami - 2019

Yokohama Yankee: My Family's Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan

Leslie Helm - 2013
    Helm draws on his great-grandfather's unpublished memoir and a wealth of primary source material to bring his family history to life.

A Lost Paradise

Junichi Watanabe - 1997
    Published only recently, it set sales records in the millions of copies and soon crossed over to other media as well--first as a radio and TV drama, then as a blockbuster movie. The popularity of the novel has spread across Asia as well, with hugely successful translations into Korean and Chinese. In the West, readers may be reminded of The Bridges of Madison County, another best-selling novel of blazing midlife passion--one with a very different outcome.Here the lovers are Kuki, a 54-year-old employee in a publishing company, and Rinko, a childless, 37-year-old woman unhappily married to a cold fish of a husband, a professor of medicine. Stuck in a dead-end job and an uneventful marriage, Kuki is irresistibly drawn to Rinko from their first encounter, seeing through her demure demeanor to the passionate woman beneath. She returns his feelings with ever-increasing abandon, despite lingering fears about where her sexual awakening may lead her. In the end, both are prepared to risk all for their relationship: family, career, and social standing, even life itself.The story contrasts the lovers' defiantly freewheeling passion--described in imaginative, smoldering detail--with a rigid society where people are expected to play a prescribed role, whether as dutiful wife or compliant office worker. In escaping these conventional roles, the lovers often escape the city as well, immersing themselves in the traditional beauties of Japanese nature and art as they give themselves over to each other and the pleasure of the moment. And ultimately they make a much more radical escape: one that will ensure that they are left in peace, to enjoy an abiding love.Perhaps not all the choices they make will seem reasonable, or even understandable, to Western readers. But their story, with elements as modern as yesterday's headlines and as timeless as the tug between love and death, opens a window into the secrets of the Japanese soul.

Premodern Japan: A Historical Survey

Mikiso Hane - 1990
    Important elements of early Japanese history persist in present-day Japan more tenaciously than is sometimes realized. Hane traces the key developments of Japanese history in the premodern period, including the establishment of the imperial dynasty, early influences from China and Korea, the rise of the samurai class and the establishment of feudalism, the culture and society of the long Tokugawa period, the rise of Confucianism and Shinto nationalism, and, finally, the end of Tokugawa rule.Although the book is structured around major political developments, Hane also carefully integrates the social, economic, cultural, and intellectual aspects of Japanese history. His revisions incorporate important recent scholarship on this formative period of Japan's history.

Sengoku Jidai. Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu: Three Unifiers of Japan

Danny Chaplin - 2018
    Into this tumultuous age of constant warfare came three remarkable individuals: Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598), and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616). Each would play a unique role in the re-unification of the disparate, fragmented collection of warring provinces which constituted Japan in the sixteenth and early seventeenth-centuries. This new narrative history of the sengoku era draws together the epic strands of their three stories for the first time. It offers a coherent survey of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568-1600) under both Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, followed by the founding years of the Tokugawa shogunate (1600-1616). Every pivotal battle fought by each of these three hegemons is explored in depth from Okehazama (1560) and Nagashino (1575) to Sekigahara (1600) and the Two Sieges of Osaka Castle (1614-15). In addition, the political and administrative underpinnings of their rule is also examined, as well as the marginal role played by western foreigners ('nanban') and the Christian religion in early modern Japanese society. In its scope, the story of Japan's three unifiers ('the Fool', 'the Monkey', and 'the Old Badger') is a sweeping saga encompassing acts of unimaginable cruelty as well as feats of great samurai heroism which were venerated and written about long into the peaceful Edo/Tokugawa period.

Love Poems from the Japanese

Kenneth Rexroth - 1994
    The poems range in tone from the spiritual longing of an isolated monk to the erotic ecstasy of a court princess—but share the extraordinary simplicity and luminosity of language that marks Kenneth Rexroth's verse style. An introduction by the poet and translator Sam Hamill, the editor of this collection, and short biographies of the poets are included. The Shambhala Library is a series of exquisitely designed and produced cloth editions of the world's spiritual and literary classics, both ancient and modern. Perfect for collecting or as gifts, each volume features a sewn binding, decorative endsheets, and a ribbon marker—a delightful-to-hold 4 ¼ x 6 ¾ trim size.

Tokyo Bay: A Novel of Japan

Anthony Grey - 1996
    Set in July 1853, this tale of the first clash between the fledgling modern nations of America and Japan illustrates the civilian hysteria provoked by the arrival of the Americans on steam-driven warships, and the mutual fears this set in place. A fleet of ships billowing black smoke steam past Japan’s tributary islands in July 1853, setting off panic among a people who have been sealed off from the rest of the world for over two hundred years. Commodore Matthew Perry has arrived, sent by the US president to open Japan to American ships and trade—by force, if necessary. Navy lieutenant Robert Eden, an idealistic New Englander, immediately recognizes that the colonial intentions of his countrymen will ignite a violent conflict with the feudal, sword-wielding samurai. Inspired to pursue peace, he jumps ship and finds himself plunged into a world of frightful and noble warriors, artfully exotic geishas, and a distraught populace who view the Americans as monsters. Eden tries to bridge the divide between two proud, unyielding cultures in the name of morality, but he may not survive to see the lasting harmony he hopes to create.