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Japanese Inn: A Reconstruction of the Past
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Japanese Inn: A Reconstruction of the Past

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  160 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published July 23rd 2009 by Kessinger Publishing (first published January 1st 1961)
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Possibly nearly readable as compared to his "Japanese Pilgrimage," this paperback tries to explore one of the most ancient Japanese inns called the Minaguchi-ya in terms of its 400-year story, its reluctant founder as a samurai retainer named Mochizuki (p. 12), its long interesting transitional stages of development, its surviving the war and the Occupation by its twentieth generation as revealed in Chapter 14, that is, from 1940-1957 (pp. 317-318), a rare one indeed in Japan or the world.

From C
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, history, japan, hf
If you are interested about leaning Japanese history in a fun manner, this is a book for you. That is what I thought when I began this book. I do not think it now. Some of the stories are quite boring, others are OK! I simply did not like the tone of the writing. There is a flippant tone, a sarcastic humor that did not appeal to me. Some of the details woven into the stories were totally without interest to me. How a person's shoes fit, for example..... It is just that peculiar details are throw ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Discovered a great copy of this book at a friends of the library sale. (How fortuitous for me.) Many of the stories inside are familiar ground for any Japanophile (the rise of Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, the subsequent shogunate of the Tokugawas, the career of Will Adams--best known as the inspiration for Clavell's Blackthorn, the revenge of the 47 ronin, etc.) However, what's new is the way Statler weaves into this history the place and personages of the Minaguchi-ya (the Japanese inn of the title. ...more
Spatial K
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Spatial by: Ranjit
Shelves: fiction
while we didn't get to stop at the real Minaguchi-ya Inn in our travels, it was easy to transpose the depth of history into the landscape of our journey. an excellent supplement to the trip.
Andrew Post
You may have noticed that I sorted this book as both "fiction" and "nonfiction." That's because, as the author sheepishly admits in his afterword, the people of the inn in question (the Minaguchi-ya in Okitsu) are real, as is the inn itself and the town it's located in. Its interactions with famous Japanese historical figures, however--the great Tokugawa Ieyasu, Jirocho the gambling boss, Saigo Takamori (the real "last samurai"), Dutch and British expatriates, the Genro ("elder statesmen"), and ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of Minaguchi-ya, a Japanese inn, over its history of twenty generations of ownership by the Mochizuki family. The inn itself burned and was rebuilt a number of times and the family maintained continuity only by adopting sons when there were no blood descendants to whom the inn could be passed. The inn is located in Okitsu, one of the towns that served as a posting station along the Tokaido Road, which was the coastal highway connecting Kyoto and Tokyo, along which Japan ...more
If one can say an "hotel" can have a biography this a bio of a Japanese inn named Minaguchi-ya located on the Tokaido Road on Suruga Bay. This is the story of the first through twentieth generation innkeepers, the family Mochizuki.

It is also the history of Japan from the first Shogun through post-WWII. The story of the inn is woven with the stories of its famous and notorious guests and neighbors. Learn about places and people of Japan: Seikenji, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi,Tokugawa Ieyasu
Sep 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Statler uses stories from the history of an ancient Japanese inn called the Minaguchi-ya to illustrate the colorful history of Japan from 1569 through 1957. A technique strikingly similar to that used by Andric in Bridge On the Drina; perhaps this is a common authors device, a genre for historical novels which I am just discovering. Regardless, the history is fascinating and the author is perceptive and … engaging. I learned a lot, enjoyably. The last chapter is entirely gratuitous, probably wri ...more
Eliot Boden
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
4 stars for the first 3/4ths of the book. The majority of Japanese Inn is filled with captivating vignettes about Japanese life and customs along the legendary Tokaido Road. The stories were consistently interesting until the Meiji Restoration and the beginning of the modern era around page 250, after which tales of feudal Japan were replaced by imprecise overviews of twentieth-century Japanese politics. The last few chapters were a challenge to get through.
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
The book is a history of Japan from about 1596 to 1957, but it's done from the point of view of the people who ran a real inn along the Tokaido Road. The story is somewhat fictionalized at times. It gives the reader a vivid feel for the times, the people, and the place.

It's much more than the dry dates, names, and events most books give. The book is a good way for anyone interested in the Japanese to learn about their history in an entertaining way.
Impressionism meets history.
But I wouldn't call it social history since there is a lot missing. but the authors intention was not to do real history, but to intrigue the reader with the ancient orient... On that score, parts of the tale lagged and it did take me a while to get into it, which I eventually did as the author became in places a bit more flip.
The inn And more specifically the town of Okitsu, sounds like a nice place to visit.
David Koblos
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A great introduction to Japan and its history: A fictional story of an actual inn, where actual historical figures were hosted from the 17th century all the way until the 1950s. The fictional part actually becomes quite irrelevant, as the historical setting is kept accurate, and the historical personalities may just as well have been guests at the inn. The building is still there, by the way, though since the 1980 it has been operating as a museum.
Kyle Davis
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're completely ignorant of Japanese history (like I am), you'll appreciate Statler's tongue-in-cheek humor—it really livens up the story. What set this edition of Japanese Inn apart from any book I've read before is the quality of its printing and the beauty of its many crests and woodblock prints. The writing's decent and enlightening, but the presentation's just superb.
Keith Miller
Japanese Inn by Oliver Statler (1982)
Edward Philippi
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the book. Not my typical read. A simple, beautiful story of a 400+ year-old inn. Just a lovely and charming read.
Peter Banks
A history of Japan seen through the goings-on at a Japanese inn. It took me a couple of starts to get into it, but it was a very enjoyable read.
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read many years ago but liked this book and the author had a real love for the subject matter. Want to reread.
Aug 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
an interesting and involving look at Japanese history. I learned a lot but didn't feel like I was reading a history book.
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Megan McCrady
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Jun 19, 2007
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ian kennedy
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May 31, 2012
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Mar 07, 2015
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Johnny Miller
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Jeffery Lowers
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Aug 13, 2015
Simon Raistrick
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Jun 11, 2009
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