In Praise of Shadows
This extended essay by the great Japanese novelist, first published in 1933, offers great insight into traditional Japanese art, architecture and design.
A Traveller’s History of Japan
A lively and concise narrative history of Japan and its transformation from Shinto, Shogun and Samurai traditions to 20th-century powerhouse.
Jeffrey Angles (Editor)
Japan, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
This geographically-organized anthology introduces both Japan and its best contemporary writers.
Eyewitness Guide Japan
Dazzling illustrations, architectural cutaways and color photographs, along with useful local maps, give this guide to Japan’s many attractions a distinct edge.
Reise Know How
A handsome, detailed map of Japan at a scale of 1:1,200,000.
Culture Smart! Japan
A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture, this is a helpful travel tool for visitors to Japan.
Lonely Planet Japanese Phrasebook
A handy palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Tokyo, A View of the City
Richie’s literate essay on the culture, history and fabric of Tokyo, where he lived for 50 years, is structured as a geographic tour starting at the Imperial Palace and branching out. With black-and-white photos.
Tokyo, A Cultural History
A literary, cultural guide to the art, architecture, traditions and history of Tokyo.
Bending Adversity, Japan and the Art of Survival
Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling captures the dynamism and diversity of Japan after the 2011 tsunami. He interviews, among many, novelist Haruki Murakami, former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists, bankers, activists and artists, teenagers and octogenarians.
Valery traces cultural trends from the emergence of Japanese civilization through the present age, touching on religion, gardens, the tea ceremony, the visual arts, theatre, literature and cinema.
Juliet Winters Carpenter, Sen Soshitsu (Introduction)
In this oversized visual celebration of Kyoto and neighboring Nara, long-time resident Carpenter presents the cobblestone streets, temples, gardens, history and traditions of the ancient capital.
The Little Book of Japan
Veteran Japanophiles Vilhar and Anderson produced this illuminating collection of 44 essays on Japanese life and culture, which, even in the 21st century remains elusive and poorly understood.
Reto Guntli (Photographer)
Living in Japan
One in a series of illustrated guides, focusing on design and the multifaceted landscape of Japanese living today, by the art publisher Taschen.
Patricia J. Graham
Japanese Design, Art, Aesthetics & Culture
In this handbook to Japanese aesthetics and design principles, Asian art expert Patricia Graham focuses on ten elements of Japanese design. She clues readers in to the allure of Japanese culture with explanatory text and more than 160 color photos.
36 Views of Mount Fuji, On Finding Myself in Japan
A thoughtful set of witty reflections on Japan, Japanese culture and the adventure of living overseas by a talented writer who taught at an all-women’s university in Japan in the 1980s.
The Inland Sea
Richie’s masterpiece, more than a travel account, is a beautiful reflection on all things Japanese by one of its most acute observers.
Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye
When her American father passes away, Mockett seeks consolation in her mother’s home country of Japan. Traveling in the wake of the 2011 tsunami, Mockett visits a radiation zone in a hazmat suit, a school for Zen Buddhist monks and several temples and festivals in an effort to understand the Japanese way of grieving, to bury her dead and, ultimately, to find healing.
A Japanese literary classic that is still read today by Japanese adults and students alike. Botchan, a young teacher from Tokyo, takes a post in Maysuyama on the island of Shikoku, beginning a quest for love and understanding. Soseki Natsume is considered the greatest writer in modern Japanese history.
Elizabeth Ingrams (Editor)
Japan, Through Writer’s Eyes
These tales by both Japanese writers and visitors, including Pico Iyer, Junichiro Tanizaki and Jan Morris, illuminate the history and culture of Japan.
South of the Border, West of the Sun
Murakami stirs jazz, neon-lit streets, out of the way shrines, hustle and bustle and wonder into this lyrical tale of love in contemporary Tokyo.
I. J. Parker
The Hell Screen
Suguwara Akitada returns in another mystery of 11th-century Japan, with rich ambiance and superb historical detail. This time, a murder in a temple catches Akitada unprepared.
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Inspired by historical events, this powerful first novel by the great 20th-century Japanese writer tells the story of the monk who burned the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.
Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia
Featuring 234 superb color plates, Brazil’s comprehensive guide includes birds found in Japan, Korea and Taiwan along with adjacent areas of Asia and Kamchatka.