Reading Suggestions

Mar 1st, 2001, 12:44 PM
  #1  
Vicki
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Reading Suggestions

Hello! I'll be going to Tokyo for the first time in April and I thought it would be fun to do some related reading between now and then. Does anyone have any recommendations? I'm interested in both fiction and non-fiction. Thanks!
 
Mar 1st, 2001, 12:56 PM
  #2  
Florence
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Tokyo, by Roman Cybriwsky. John Wyley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-97187-1

Foot-loose in Tokyo, by Jean Pearce. Weatherhill, ISBN 0-8348-0123-x

Day Walks Near Tokyo, by Gary D'A. Walters, ISBN 4-7700-1620-4

Xenophobe's guide to the Japanese, Oval Books, ISBN 1-902825-36-5

Japan-Think, Ameri-Thing, by Robert J. Collins, Penguin ISBN 0-14-0148610-4

Tokyo Rising, by Reischauer

www.jinjapan.org

Sorry, no fiction there but ... enjoy.
 
Mar 2nd, 2001, 08:40 AM
  #3  
Penelope
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All non-fiction:
1) Michihiko Hachiya, M.D., Hiroshima Dairy, The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6 - September 30, 1945 U/N.C. Press, 1955).
2) Cathy N. Davidson, 36 Views of Mount Fuji (Penguin, 1993).
3) Edward Fowler, San'ya Blues, Laboring Life in Contemporary Tokyo (Cornell U. Press, 1996).
4) James Mak (ed.), Japan, Why It Works, Why It Doesn't (U/Hawai'i Press, 1998).
Each book has its merits; if I could choose only one, I would select Mak's because it explains many aspects of contemporary Japanese life that mystify Americans. P
 
Jan 10th, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #4  
Florence
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Topping for Sarah, +

"Kyoto, A Contemplative Guide" by G. Mosher (Tuttle, ISBN 0-8048-1294-2).

It is a tour of most of the historical landmarks, commented from the perspective of the role they have played in the history of Kyoto and Japan. A great guide and a fine work of litterature. The only caveat is that the information "on how to get there" is a bit dated (1993).
 
Jan 10th, 2002, 11:51 AM
  #5  
Sarah
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Message: I always like to read something in fiction that is nationally recognize in any country I am visiting. I want to see what the natives are identifying as great literature.

With this thinking, Yasunari Kawabata, a thousand cranes would be my pick. I believe this guy was awarded the Nobel prize for life time achievement in literature in 1996 or 97. I am sure there are regional awards that better reflect local interest but this is my measure at the moment. I loved Memoirs of Geisha but realize it is written by an American (Ivy League PHD in Japanese studies) still it will get you interested in Japanese culture. The later a very quick and light read.

I also would look into some books of Haiku. The Essential Haiku : Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa is one I like simple and will introduce to art of Haiku. The reverence for art in Japan has always struck me reading about the structure and history of Haikus is a good place to begin to see evidence of this.


 
Jan 10th, 2002, 12:19 PM
  #6  
Kathie
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Let me recommend The Tale of Murasaki, the life story of the woman who invented the novel.
 
Jan 16th, 2002, 01:22 PM
  #7  
Sarah
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Thanks Kathie is there a translation of tale of Genji that you prefer over others. Any books prepare you for this read it will be my first dip into classical Japanese literature.
 
Jan 16th, 2002, 03:55 PM
  #8  
Kathie
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I know there is a new translation of Tales of Genji out. I haven't read it, just the bio of Murasaki. It was lovely. It's also an easier read than Genji, so you might start with the bio first.
 
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