in ,

16 Fascinating Books That Say All You Need To Know About Japanese Culture

Japanese culture is rich, full of dark and bright secrets, and these books do the best job of revealing them!

As the world becomes increasingly globalised, more and more people are becoming interested in Asian cultures – particularly Japanese history and way of life.

If you are thinking of moving to Japan or just going for a week long vacation, these books are must reads to make the most of your stay on this amazing island. From food to language facts, this collection of books will enhance your time in Japan and it the trip of your life.

#1 Lost Japan by Alex Kerr

Lost Japan by Alex KerrGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

It’s always inspiring to read about an expat’s perspective on their second home. They can provide a depth and wealth of information like no other visitor to that country. And this book is a classic.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#2 Be More Japan by Timothy N. Hornyak

Be More Japan by Timothy N. HornyakGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

The DK Eyewitness guides are some of the best guide books on the market. If you want to learn more about the Japanese lifestyle and culture in a guide book style, this is it!

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#3 Cutting Back by Leslie Buck

Cutting Back by Leslie BuckGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

This one is for you, if you like personal memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love and or have an interest in Japanese gardens.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#4 Japanese Mind by Roger J. Davies

Japanese Mind by Roger J. Davies Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

If you’re a Westerner and have never visited Japan before, this book will give you a great insight in to, essentially, why Japan is the way it is. The book focuses and explores concepts integral to Japanese culture, such as wabi-sari (simplicity and elegance), sempai-kohai (seniority), and amakudari (Japan’s descent from heaven).

Academically written, those in particular looking to spend prolonged periods of time in Japan will benefit greatly from the insights in this book.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#5 Japanese Culture by H. Paul Varley

Japanese Culture by H. Paul VarleyGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

An excellent textbook that covers a vast amount of Japanese culture and history. Varley’s writing is concise, fluid, and easy to digest. Where he truly excels is in piecing together all the commonly known things about Japan, showing how they’re all interconnected.

You’ll learn a great deal about Japan from reading this book. Historians and scholars will gloss over, as such a vast amount is covered, without going in to extensive depth. But for anyone looking to see the whole picture about this fascinating country, all roads very much lead to this book.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#6 Japanese Art Close-Up by John Reeve

Japanese Art Close-Up by John ReeveGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

The influence of Japanese art on a global scale dates back centuries. Those looking for an broad overview and detailed introduction will enjoy Reeve’s collection of works.

Where the book particularly excels is in covering a range of mediums. Documentation of printing, painting, sculpture, and film, all help envisage the true scope of Japanese Art’s influence. The imagery used, at times, is breath-taking.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#7 Anime: A History by Johnathan Clements

Anime: A History by Johnathan ClementsGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Those keen to learn a great deal about anime, not just be entertained by pretty pictures, have come to the right place. Clements’ research is extensive, thorough, and covers periods where historically English documentation is lacking, such as post-WWII.

Despite the focus being on anime, the books in-depth research allows you to understand swathes of the cultural and political landscape of Japan over the last 100 years. The writing is admittedly dry, but highly critical.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#8 Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson

Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

This is Olden but Golden coming in at almost 20 years old, Hokkaido Highway Blues by the super funny Will Ferguson is an amazing and unique insight into Japan and the everyday people that represent the culture completely.

Ferguson worked as a teacher in Japan. He made a sage decision to trek across the nation from the southernmost point up to the far northern peak.

On his journey, he meets a wide variety of people and seeing a side of Japan that many can only dream of. Conversely, he is acerbic hilarious and visually poetic, you won’t find a better book on Japan.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#9 A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia

A Geek in Japan by Hector GarciaGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

This book is fun, modern and does a great job of touching on several aspects of Japanese culture, from bizarre ancient ceremonies to modern-day subcultures and the local art scene. It’s easy to read, colorful and has a little bit for everyone, from casual tourists to historians and digital nomads. The content focuses on just about everything you need to know about Japan in the 21st century and is available in convenient paperback format on Amazon.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#10 Japanese Tattoes: History, Culture, Design by Brian Ashcraft

Japanese Tattoes: History, Culture, Design by Brian AshcraftGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Tattoes occupy a very different space in Japanese culture than Western sociaty. Tattoes is a centuries-old cultural art form that is at the fringe of contemporary Japanese society and in danger of being stamped out by Japanese authorities. This book was written to clear up confusion, ignite interest, and save yourself from an embarassing faux-pas.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#11 Yurei Attack! by Hiroko Yoda

Yurei Attack! by Hiroko YodaGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

This is one of the books in the Attack! series that includes also Ninja Attack! and Yokai Attack!. These books cover the supernatural, ghosts, monsters, ninja and more. Japanese have a different and distinct view of ghosts, for instance, that is very different from our Western image. Much of this difference is inherited from the Japanese polytheistic and animistic belief system. A ghost to a Japanese person is not a geezah with a white sheet on top, but anthropomorphic objects with a face, long dangling hair, and peculiarly a lack of feet.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#12 How to Live Japanese by Yutaka Yazawa

How to Live Japanese by Yutaka YazawaGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

From Miyazaki to mountains, sake to sparking joy, find your Zen and make time to learn about how to live Japanese. Whether it’s the cutting edge of film-making, revolutionizing the whisky market or competing with parents on lunchboxes, you’ll be all the better for some time spent with How to Live Japanese.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#13 Tokyo Style Guide by Jane Lawson

Tokyo Style Guide by Jane LawsonGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Author Jane Lawson has been travelling to Japan for more than thirty years, and has led many group and private tours to various parts of the country. In Tokyo Style Guide she offers a unique insight into Japan’s culture and aesthetic with her expert guided walks through 21 of the most intriguing and stylish Tokyo neighborhoods and the best of what they have to offer.

Jane shares information on how to get the most from your trip – what to see and how best to experience it. Tokyo Style Guide is packed with places where you can shop, relax, be inspired, eat and sleep, as well as practical tips to help you prepare for your trip, navigate the city with confidence and make the most of your visit.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#14 Traveling to Tokyo with Toddlers by Wisterian Watertree

Traveling to Tokyo with Toddlers by Wisterian Watertree Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

It includes everything parents of young children need to know about local culture from how breastfeeding is perceived to etiquette on taking children to restaurants.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#15 Etiquette Guide To Japan by Boye Lafayette De Mente

Etiquette Guide To Japan by Boye Lafayette De MenteGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Japan is a fun and interesting Asian culture to dive into. Manners have different meanings all over the world. The one book that really helped me understand the intricacies of Japanese customs and social behavior while living there was the Etiquette Guide to Japan. You’ll learn that white is worn for funerals and the number four is considered unlucky since it can be easily divided and that you should never pass food with the eating end of your chopsticks. Did you know that the depth of your bow matters when meeting someone new? Thankfully, as foreigners, we’re forgiven our gaffs and mistakes, but it feels good to get it right.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#16 Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Masaharu Morimoto

Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Masaharu Morimoto Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

The revered Iron Chef shows how to make flavorful, exciting traditional Japanese meals at home in this beautiful cookbook that is sure to become a classic, featuring a carefully curated selection of fantastic recipes and more than 150 color photos.

Japanese cuisine has an intimidating reputation that has convinced most home cooks that its beloved preparations are best left to the experts. But legendary chef Masaharu Morimoto, owner of the wildly popular Morimoto restaurants, is here to change that. In Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, he introduces readers to the healthy, flavorful, surprisingly simple dishes favored by Japanese home cooks.

Chef Morimoto reveals the magic of authentic Japanese food-the way that building a pantry of half a dozen easily accessible ingredients allows home cooks access to hundreds of delicious recipes, empowering them to adapt and create their own inventions. From revelatory renditions of classics like miso soup, nabeyaki udon, and chicken teriyaki to little known but unbelievably delicious dishes like fish simmered with sake and soy sauce, Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking brings home cooks closer to the authentic experience of Japanese cuisine than ever before.

And, of course, the famously irreverent chef also offers playful riffs on classics, reimagining tuna-and-rice bowls in the style of Hawaiian poke, substituting dashi-marinated kale for spinach in oshitashi, and upgrading the classic rice seasoning furikake with toasted shrimp shells and potato chips.. Whatever the recipe, Chef Morimoto reveals the little details-the right ratios of ingredients in sauces, the proper order for adding seasonings-that make all the difference in creating truly memorable meals that merge simplicity with exquisite flavor and visual impact.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Contributors to this article
Silke Wolf from Local Insiders

Dale Johnson from Nomad Paradise

Tom Wills from Soprano Villas

Nick Galov from Review42

Ivan Pellegrin from Art de Séjour

Lydia Rasmussen from Quarto Publishing Group

Marianne Perez de Fransius from Bébé Voyage

Jenny De Witt from Townie Tourist

Chef Masaharu Morimoto from Iron Chef Morimoto

Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.