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Japan: A Traveler's Literary Companion
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Japan: A Traveler's Literary Companion

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This collection guides the reader through the complexity that is Japan. Although frequently misunderstood as a homogenous nation, Japan is a land of tremendous linguistic, geographical, and cultural diversity. Hino Keizo leads the reader through Tokyo's mazes in "Jacob's Tokyo Ladder." Nakagami Kenji explores the ghostly, mythology-laden backwoods of Kumano. Atoda Takashi ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Whereabouts Press
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If you're going to Japan and looking for a literary companion, it's definitely worth the space in your suitcase. I read this at a resort in Hakone in between soaks in the onsen, so maybe that colored my enjoyment of it, but this was a really nice selection of stories. Even though most of them were pretty sad. I'm going to look into reading more by some of these authors now. Hadn't heard of most of them before.
May 19, 2010 Jeffrey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
A collection of quirky stories set in various places throughout Japan. The purpose of this collection was to give a number of stories that would represent, through literature, different places in Japan. Here is an NPR interview with the editor.
This is a book of short stories by various Japanese authors, ably translated into English. Most of them were written quite a number of years ago and show that even in a different time and place we are basically the same. I found them quietly enjoyable and actually quite thought-provoking.
Aug 07, 2011 Maria added it
I thought it was a really interesting collection of stories. They have a mystical, fantastical element to them. Very interesting. They also did a great job of selecting stories which reflect the regional variations of the country.
If you are interested in Japanese culture it's a good read but keep in mind that it's literature and best read if know more about the culture before reading this book. I got lost a bit.
Richard Janzen
A fairly interesting collection of stories. Very descriptive...strong sense of setting as the main character in many of the stories. Kind of magical in places.
Sarah Brandel
The stories in this collection were a bit too literary for me. I was hoping for more plot. Still, a very fast read.
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