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Culture

Books related to all aspects of Japanese culture

  1. Dharma delight

    Dharma Delight: A Visionary Post Pop Comic Guide to Buddhism and Zen
    Buddhism and Zen are the subjects of Musho Rodney Alan Greenblat’s colourful new book, Dharma Delight. I’m a lover of Zen (and Buddhism to an extent), and I’m a practicing artist, so really is up my alley. JREF thought I would feel comfortable reviewing it. I was apprehensive upon flipping through the book. Still, the introduction won me over quite a lot with two points: He talks of being in Japan and asking about Zen to Japanese friends, and they couldn’t answer. While Zen is still...
  2. Manabeshima Island Japan

    To be honest: manga-like picture books, especially in the guise of "graphic novels", are not my first choice of reading. So I was very skeptical when I opened "Manabeshima Island Japan", Florent Chavouet's second illustrated book on Japan. Je m'excuse! After I had read through the first few pages I realized that I had to reconsider my preconceptions about illustrated cultural guides. Here is a veritable gem depicting a Japan so different from other guidebooks; a Japan far apart from glitzy...
  3. Japan Journeys

    I love this book. End of review. No, I should write a little more than that. I do love it though. Japan Journeys is a collection of ukiyo-e (the Japanese term for woodblock prints pre-20th century) themed around travel in Japan. I’m not an expert on ukiyo-e, but I’m quite familiar with the subject. I got my first book on woodblock prints 20 years ago, got a few more after that, and have attended a few exhibitions on them while traveling in Japan. At this point, I’ve stopped buying...
  4. Cool Japan Guide

    This full-color graphic novel Japan guidebook is the first of it's kind exploring Japanese culture from a cartoonist's perspective. Cool Japan Guide
    Cute. That’s the word for this book. Upon opening it, I quickly realised I was not a member of the target audience. Not because it’s cute (I like cute stuff), but because I have experience traveling, experience in Japan, and I don’t have rose-coloured glasses when viewing Japan. On top of that, I found it graphically unsophisticated, and the colouring gaudy. That isn’t to say there isn’t a market for it, and that some wouldn’t love this book. I think there is, and some will. It just...
  5. Roger Dahl's Comic Japan

    Roger Dahl's Zero Gravity cartoon strip has been a popular feature of Japan's leading English-language daily newspaper, The Japan Times, since 1991.
    Roger Dahl's Comic Japan: Best of Zero Gravity Cartoons from The Japan Times-The Lighter Side of Tokyo Life is a collection of humour strips by Roger Dahl that originally appeared in the Japan Times. As such, it reads much like other collections of newspaper strips that most should be familiar with. The strip’s format is like that of many weekly strips, closer to Sunday funny size than the three or four panel daily strip, but in black and white. Dahl has definitely lived in Japan. I...
  6. The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture

    In The Japanese Mind, Roger Davies offers Westerners an invaluable key to the unique aspects of Japanese culture. Readers of this book will gain a
    The Japanese Mind is a collection of twenty-eight essays written by seniors from Ehime University’s English department, each discussing an aspect of Japanese culture that exemplifies the Japanese mindset. The editors state that the essays are primarily aimed at students of Japanese studies and Japanese students of English who might need to explain their culture to non-Japanese people. The book would certainly be a great resource for that goal, but the essays go deeper. The authors seem...
  7. Japanese Design

    In Japanese Design, Asian art expert and author Patricia J. Graham explains how Japanese aesthetics based in fine craftsmanship and simplicity
    Japanese Design. Art, Aesthetics & Culture is ambitiously aimed at a wide audience, covering anybody with an interest in Japanese design, art and culture. Newcomers to this subject will find the chronology of Japanese history and notes on Japanese names and words very useful. Students and enthusiasts will gain much from the clearly explained historical backgrounds, which build up an essential framework for a better understanding of the complex variety of aesthetics in Japanese design. The...
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