ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

The Little Book of Japan

Foreword Review — Winter 2014

Guidebooks are well and fine, certainly a “must” for travelers, along with good walking shoes. But sometimes we crave the experience without the airports, foreign language, and sore heels. The Little Book of Japan provides an armchair cultural, spiritual, and monumental tour of the Land of the Rising Sun from a mostly traditional perspective.

The Buddhism-inspired concepts of impermanence and the importance of making the most out of every moment permeate the traditions of Japan, from cherry-blossom viewing to tea preparation, calligraphy, flower arranging, and lunch boxes. Short but detailed essays accompany sumptuous photo spreads on these and many other topics, arranged under the four major headings of Cultural Icons, Traditions, Places, and Spiritual Life. Having lived in Japan for nearly thirty years, the observations of the author and photographer are intimate, affectionate, and fully in tune with the “ephemeral nature of life.” The Little Book of Japan is an excellent small gift for both travelers and homebodies.

Heather Shaw