What are the best books about Japan?

asked by Anonymous
296 contributors
18 solutions
  1. 35

    #1Memoirs of a Geisha

    Memoirs of a Geisha

    Memoirs of a Geisha is Arthur Gold's best-selling novel, which tells the story of Nitta Sayuri as she overcomes loss at a young age and learns the art of becoming a geisha. It is a story of loss and pain, hope, and love.


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    Donna Payne
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I couldn't put this book down. I wasn't sure what I would think of it when I picked it up but I really liked it because it kind of compared the cultures of America with some similar things that go on in Japan. I loved the perspective of the story and how it was told."
  2. 34


    Liza Dalby is an American woman who was trained as a geisha, becoming the first non-Japanese woman to do so. In this book, she shares her thoughts and an insider's look at the world of the female companions, a tradition that has been in Japan for centuries. 


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    Vincent Adams
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "This book was a great recommendation. It ties in nicely to those looking to read about Japan. It's very well written and a great look into Japanese culture. "
  3. 32

    #3Lone Wolf and Cub (Vol. 1)

    Lone Wolf and Cub (Vol. 1)
    Lone Wolf and Cubis an epic samurai manga written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Goseki Kojima and published in America by Dark Horse Comics. 

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    Arthur Ward
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "I took my time reading this so I could savor it. It is a classic and a must read. Its a really important and influential work of Japanese Manga. I was totally immersed in stories about samurai that took place during the Edo period. If you are interested in stories relating to Japanese culture and history, this is for you."
  1. 29

    #4Shogun (Asian Saga)

    Shogun (Asian Saga)
    Set in 1600, the first book of the Asian Saga features three main characters: John Blackthorne, a British adventurer who arrives at Japan; Toranaga, a feudal lord with dreams of becoming the Shogun and Lady Mariko, a Catholic convert who falls in love with John, an explosive combination of characters and personalities that ensures lots of adventures. 

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    Betty Zhu
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "What a touching book. I would enjoy this book."
  2. 28

    #5Snow Country

    Snow Country
    Written by Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata, this classic Japanese novel narrates the love story between a wealthy dilettante named Shimamura and Komako, a provincial geisha, whose love is doomed to failure. 


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    Judy Silva
    Written on April 6, 2018
    "It is a fiction set in Japan that does show you a side of the culture of the country. It's beautifully written and easy to get into. It might not be the best book about Japan but it's a good book. "
  3. 25

    #6Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan

    Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan

    This book chronicles Japans's descent into crisis and depression: many things are going wrong in Japan, with deep social, political and educational problems, and this book explains how did Japan end up like this. 


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    Carol Boyd
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "This book has many different ways to own it. I would buy it on hardcover to save money! The reviews are great and I think this would really teach me a few things about Japan. "
  4. 23

    #7Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

    Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

    The story of a Ronin who wanders the countryside of Japan with his small child, having various adventures. Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance is a 1972 Japanese film directed by Kenji Misumi.


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    Frank Jones
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "As somebody interested in Japan, I was looking into books regarding Japan. With Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance, I got to read a book that was amazing at helping me learn about a very specific aspect of Japan and it did so very well. "
  5. 22

    #8Instruction Manual for the 21st Century Samurai

    Instruction Manual for the 21st Century Samurai
    Living the samurai way of life these days would be very hard -to begin with, you wouldn't be able to carry your sword everywhere-, so this book will tell you how to face many of today's life situations the way a Japanese samurai would do it.


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    Sara Rose
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "Not a real book about Japan. All the reviews are paid fake reviews. Don't trust what you read about it on Amazon. There are way better books about Japan."
  6. 14

    #9The Woman in the Dunes

    The Woman in the Dunes

    Published in 1962, the book narrates the life of Jumpei Niki, a teacher who misses the last bus after going to a fishing village. He then is led by villagers to a house in the dunes that can only be reached by rope ladder, and he ends up forced to live there with a mysterious woman. 


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    Cindy Lu
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "A wild and memorable book about one very strange village in Japan. Horrifying and intriguing at the same time."
  7. 13

    #10Japan: A Reinterpretation

    Japan: A Reinterpretation

    Patrick Smith explores the reasons why Japan is experimenting a redefinition of itself, and how this will change the perception western civilizations will have about it. The book illuminates the new Japan that will come in the near future. 


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    Beverly Matthews
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "I am traveling to Japan next year, so I've been trying to find great books on the subject. Japan: A Reinterpretation, is an excellent read. Patrick Smith is a great storyteller, who explains the many reasons why Japan is experimenting, and what the future holds. It's exciting and well written, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!"
  8. 12


    John Hersey's heart-wrenching book Hiroshima recounts what happened on the day the first ever atomic bomb was dropped on a city. It includes narratives by eyewitnesses who survived the bombing. 

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    Carl Alexander
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "This book is highly rated on Amazon by the people who read it. Most the stars are four or five for those people. I would not consider this a best book about Japan. This book is mainly focused on people who were at Hiroshima at the time of the bombing. This book is less about Japan and more about the tragedy that occurred there."
  9. 8



    Natsumi Soseki's Kokoro is a novel attempts to describe the transition of the Japanese society from the old to the modern era by describing the friendship between a young man and his teacher, and later in the book, with his parents.


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    Jorge Esparza
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "I don't believe this is a great example to learn about Japan. It does talk about the society, but to learn the best about Japan? It is far from this book. It's from a narrative view of the protagonist, and the protagonist is a university student who has a friendship with his teacher."
  10. 3

    #13The Tale of Genji: (Deluxe Edition)

    The Tale of Genji: (Deluxe Edition)
    Tale of Genji is an 11th-century classic written by Murasaki Shikibu. This epic portrays Prince Genji and the life of a monarch in the Heian period. This edition uses Royall Tyler's translation.

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    Joe Morales
    Written on March 31, 2018
    "I have always had an interest in Japanese culture and enjoy reading literature done by Japanese authors. If you are like that, then books like this are likely to be interesting to you."
  11. 0

    #14Kawaii Bento Boxes

    Kawaii Bento Boxes
    Kawaii Bento Boxes: Cute and Convenient Japanese Meals on the Go is a non-fiction cookbook written by Joie Staff. It is published in 2009 by Japan Publications Trading.

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  12. 0

    #15Felt Friends from Japan

    Felt Friends from Japan

    Felt Friends from Japan: 86 Super-cute Toys and Accessories to Make Yourself is a non-fiction Japanese craft book written by Naomi Tabatha. It is published in 2011 by Kodansha. 


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    Edward Nguyen
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "I love reading books about places I have never been. It gives me an insight on what it's like. Felt Friends from Japan is a really good one. It has a lot of craft info in it that is really fun. "
  13. 0

    #16Yummi 'Gurumi

    Yummi 'Gurumi

    Yummi 'Gurumi: Over 60 Gourmet Crochet Treats to Make is a non-fiction book about knitting and crochet written by Christen Haden and Mariarosa Sala. It is published in 2010. 


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    Paul Graham
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "My friend loves this book. She is really into crocheting and cooking so I bought this for her on her last birthday. But besides being an amigurumi book it really has nothing to do with Japan."
  14. 0

    #17Kokeshi Style

    Kokeshi Style

    Kokeshi Style: Design Your Own Kokeshi Fashions is a children's non-fiction book about Japan written by Annelore Parot. It is first published in 2012 by Chronicle Books.


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    Beverly Rios
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "I think my little girl would love this activity book. It's not necessarily a book about Japan itself; but it certainly helps illustrate the fashion of Japan and introduce her to culture in a fun and age appropriate manner! "
  15. 0

    #18Hiroshima No Pika

    Hiroshima No Pika
    Hiroshima No Pika is a picture book by Toshi Maruki. The book was first published in 1981 by HarperCollins under ISBN 0688012973. It won the 1983 Batchelder Award and the 1983 Jane Addams Children's Book Award.

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    Maria Diaz
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "It tells a crucial point in Japan's history and helps readers understand what happened that day. "


Best What are the best books about Japan
1Memoirs of a GeishaBooks 35 Paid
2GeishaBooks 34 Paid
3Lone Wolf and Cub (Vol. 1)Books 32 Paid
4Shogun (Asian Saga)Books 29 Paid
5Snow CountryBooks 28 Paid
6Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of JapanBooks 25 Paid
7Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of VengeanceMovies 23 Paid
8Instruction Manual for the 21st Century SamuraiBooks 22 Paid
9The Woman in the DunesBooks 14 Paid
10Japan: A ReinterpretationBooks 13 Paid

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