Description : 'The best book I have read about Tokyo written this century' David Peace For over 300 years, Japan closed itself to outsiders, developing a remarkable and unique culture. During its period of isolation, the inhabitants of the city of Edo, later known as Tokyo, relied on its public bells to tell the time. In her remarkable book, Anna Sherman tells of her search for the bells of Edo, exploring the city of Tokyo and its inhabitants and the individual and particular relationship of Japanese culture - and the Japanese language - to time, tradition, memory, impermanence and history. Through Sherman’s journeys around the city and her friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, The Bells of Old Tokyo presents a series of hauntingly memorable voices in the labyrinth that is the metropolis of the Japanese capital: An aristocrat plays in the sea of ashes left by the Allied firebombing of 1945. A scientist builds the most accurate clock in the world, a clock that will not lose a second in five billion years. A sculptor eats his father’s ashes while the head of the house of Tokugawa reflects on the destruction of his grandfather’s city (‘A lost thing is lost. To chase it leads to darkness’). The result is a book that not only engages with the striking otherness of Japanese culture like no other, but that also marks the arrival of a dazzling new writer as she presents an absorbing and alluring meditation on life through an exploration of a great city and its people.
Description : An elegant and absorbing tour of Tokyo and its residents From 1632 until 1854, Japan’s rulers restricted contact with foreign countries, a near isolation that fostered a remarkable and unique culture that endures to this day. In hypnotic prose and sensual detail, Anna Sherman describes searching for the great bells by which the inhabitants of Edo, later called Tokyo, kept the hours in the shoguns’ city. An exploration of Tokyo becomes a meditation not just on time, but on history, memory, and impermanence. Through Sherman’s journeys around the city and her friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, The Bells of Old Tokyo follows haunting voices through the labyrinth that is the Japanese capital: an old woman remembers escaping from the American firebombs of World War II. A scientist builds the most accurate clock in the world, a clock that will not lose a second in five billion years. The head of the Tokugawa shogunal house reflects on the destruction of his grandfathers’ city: “A lost thing is lost. To chase it leads to darkness.” The Bells of Old Tokyo marks the arrival of a dazzling new writer who presents an absorbing and alluring meditation on life in the guise of a tour through a city and its people.
Description : This Tokyo guidebook provides an intimate and detailed look at Japan's dynamic capital. Walking is the best way to get to know any city and here is a walker's guide to Tokyo—one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Author and Tokyo native Sumiko Enbutso leads readers through Tokyo's old downtown. Sensitive to the character of each varied neighborhood, she brings a sharp eye to its half-hidden history, its traditional shops, and its most appealing restaurants. A fascinating book that goes beyond the normal tourist sites, Old Tokyo is a boon to foreign residents and visitor alike.
Description : Tokyo is one of the most fast-paced cities in Asia. Keep up to speed with City Guide Tokyo - a comprehensive guide to getting the most out of this extraordinary city. Experience the mega-wattage of neon lights in Shibuya, take a soothing dip at Odaiba's Oedo Onsen and marvel at the resplendent Senso-ji Temple with a guide that explores all these sights and more using detailed, narrative text, easy-to-use maps and stunning full-colour photography. City Guide Tokyo fully explores the history, people and culture of the city, so you can discover everything you need to know to appreciate kabuki theatre, learn the difference between sushi and sashimi and delve into the world of manga and anime. In-depth chapters cover all of Tokyo's wards and suggest excursions to surrounding regions; fashionistas should head for stylish Harajuku, night owls can make a beeline for bustling Roppongi, history and architecture buffs will adore the Old Tokyo of Asakusa, whilst those seeking fresh air and gorgeous scenery will want to explore Mount Fuji. The Best Of section helps you to prioritise what to see and the Travel Tips offer essential advice on what you need to know before you go and how to get around the city once you are there. Insight Guides has over 40 years' experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides. We produce around 400 full-colour print guide books and maps as well as picture-packed eBooks to meet different travellers' needs. Insight Guides' unique combination of beautiful travel photography and focus on history and culture together create a unique visual reference and planning tool to inspire your next adventure.
Description : Aliqa's mind has been erased, every memory lost to the endless reticulations of the branes, but for one single word that haunts her- Temetry. With it comes an abiding hope for salvation, perhaps for the salvation of every single Bell in Subsidence's ancient fleet, but first she must hunt it down, though she doesn't even know what it is. The Bells of Subsidence tells 9 science fiction short stories that chart the untamed outer fringe of existence, filled with ruined intergalactic civilizations, lonely globe-roaming robots, and a memetic virus locked that could destroy all things. It features 4 stories previously published in professional magazines: Clarkesworld, Andromeda Spaceways, Quantum Muse, and Apocalypse Fiction. Includes: 1) The Bells of Subsidence 2) Angel, I 3) The Giant Robot and the Myna Bird 4) Route 66 5) C22 6) Cullsman #9 7) Hunting Ground 8) The Blue Chipset and the Thing 9) Universal Time Praise: - "... the images are striking and euphonious, ... and the story is moving." - Lois Tilton, Locus Mag - "... beautifully written ... satisfying ... atmospheric ... emotional ..." - Goodreads reviews About the Author: Michael John Grist is a 33-year old British writer, teacher, and ruins photographer who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He runs a website featuring his stories and photographs of ruin exploration- www.michaeljohngrist.com Excerpt: The Bell is coming. It's night, and I'm lying beside Temetry on a cold grey crater of this world's endless desert, listening to the oscillations of the Bell. At times we glimpse its Brilliance, the after-image of its long and branic toll splashing across the plush black firmament like an endless corolla borealis. I imagine it far overhead, arcing through the universe, plancking the anthropic landscape from yoke to clapper, and can think of only one word to describe it. "Godly," I whisper. Temetry nods by my side. He doesn't speak, not since the last Bells came when we were babies, but I know what he's thinking. I'm thinking it also. "How are your non-orientable insects?" I ask. He shrugs. This shrug means he's had no breakthroughs. I know it, because he'd not be here with me if he had. The men of this world would have taken him for the Gideon heat-sink long ago. "I won't forget you," I say to him quietly. He turns to me, and smiles, because he knows I cannot keep that promise. The Bell is coming tonight. His hand worms the grey sand, folds my fingers within his own, and I remember that he is the most beautiful thing I have. "I love you," I whisper to him. His fingers tighten, rippling over mine in Euclidean gymnastics, until our hands are joined partway between a reticulated conch shell and an intersecting Klein bottle. I laugh. It is our joke, a vestige of what Subsidence has brought us both. We are only 11, and I love him, because I know in my heart that he will never forget me. "I'll whisper your name to the branes until I die," I promise him, feeling the urgency of this moment, alone in this crater for the last time. His smile turns sad. It is the last abiding image I have of him, because then comes the sound of old Ingen, and the moment is lost. She is huffing and panting her rooty head over the crater-lip. This place is no longer special or secret. Temetry's dazzling smile is sad, forever, because I'll never see him again.
Description : The stunning biographical portraits in Modern Girls, Shining Stars, the Skies of Tokyo, some adapted from essays that first appeared in The New Yorker, explore the lives of five women who did their best to stand up and cause more trouble than was considered proper in Japanese society. Their lives stretch across a century and a half of explosive cultural and political transformations in Japan. These five artists-two actresses, two writers, and a painter-were noted for their talents, their beauty, and their love affairs rather than for any association with politics. But through the fearlessness of their art and their private lives, they influenced the attitudes of their times and challenged the status quo. Phyllis Birnbaum presents her subjects from various perspectives, allowing them to shine forth in all of their contradictory brilliance: generous and petulant, daring and timid, prudent and foolish. There is Matsui Sumako, the actress who introduced Ibsen's Nora and Wilde's Salome to Japanese audiences but is best remembered for her ambition, obstreperous temperament and turbulent love life. We also meet Takamura Chieko, a promising but ultimately disappointed modernist painter whose descent into mental illness was immortalized in poetry by a husband who may well have been the source of her troubles. In a startling act of rebellion, the sensitive, aristocratic poet Yanagiwara Byakuren left her crude and powerful husband, eloped with her revolutionary lover, and published her request for a divorce in the newspapers. Uno Chiyo was a popular novelist who preferred to be remembered for the romantic wars she fought. Willful, shrewd, and ambitious, Uno struggled for sexual liberation and literary merit. Birnbaum concludes by exploring the life and career of Takamine Hideko, a Japanese film star who portrayed wholesome working-class heroines in hundreds of films, working with such directors as Naruse, Kinoshita, Ozu, and Kurosawa. Angry about a childhood spent working to provide for greedy relatives, Takamine nevertheless made peace with her troubled past and was rewarded for years of hard work with a brilliant career. Drawing on fictional accounts, interviews, memoirs, newspaper reports, and the creative works of her subjects, Birnbaum has created vivid, seamless narrative portraits of these five remarkable women.
Description : Increased use of mass transportation in the early twentieth century enabled men and women of different social classes to interact in ways they had not before. Using a cultural studies approach that combines historical research and literary analysis, author Alisa Freedman investigates fictional, journalistic, and popular culture depictions of how mass transportation changed prewar Tokyo's social fabric and artistic movements, giving rise to gender roles that have come to characterize modern Japan. Freedman persuasively argues that, through descriptions of trains and buses, stations, transport workers, and passengers, Japanese authors responded to contradictions in Tokyo's urban modernity and exposed the effects of rapid change on the individual. She shines a light on how prewar transport culture anticipates what is fascinating and frustrating about Tokyo today, providing insight into how people make themselves at home in the city. An approachable and enjoyable book, Tokyo in Transit offers an exciting ride through modern Japanese literature and culture, and includes the first English translation of Kawabata Yasunari's The Corpse Introducer, a 1929 crime novella that presents an important new side of its Nobel Prizewinning author.