Japan: through writers’ eyes


Japan: through writers’ eyes


Like a traveller in search of enlightenment, Elizabeth Ingrams has tracked down a wealth of writers who have turned their attention to these enigmatic islands. From the earliest European reports of Japan’s sophisticated court culture, to eyewitness accounts of the explosion of the atom bomb at Nagasaki and of street life in present-day Ginza, she builds a complex picture of the islands and their people, their refined culture and religious beliefs as well as their changing lifestyles.

Exploring the country topographically, she begins in Tokyo, returning to the main island and its once inaccessible northern extremity via the distant islands of Okinawa and Hokkaido. Between these covers lie Pico Iyer’s account of the rigours of training to become a Zen Buddhist monk in Kyoto, Nicolas Bouvier’s reminiscences of living in a down-at-heel district of Tokyo in the 1950s, extracts from Basho’s masterly Narrow Road to the Deep North and from Yukio Mishima’s meditation on Japan, The Temple of the Golden Pavillion.

Including: Jan Morris, Pico Iyer, Nicholas Bouvier, Yukio Mishima, Matsuo Basho, Jonathan Swift, Anthony Thwaite, Rudyard Kipling, Marco Polo, Alex Kerr, Kazuo Ishiguro, Pierre Loti, Junichiro Tanizaki, James Kirkup, Higuchi Ichiyo, Lafcadio Hearn. 

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Japan: through writers’ eyes
Collected and edited by: Elizabeth Ingrams
ISBN: 978-1906011-08-6
Format: 336pp demi pb
Place: Japan