Lost Japan

By Alex Kerr,

Book cover of Lost Japan: Last Glimpse of Beautiful Japan

Book description

An enchanting and fascinating insight into Japanese landscape, culture, history and future.

Originally written in Japanese, this passionate, vividly personal book draws on the author's experiences in Japan over thirty years. Alex Kerr brings to life the ritualized world of Kabuki, retraces his initiation into Tokyo's boardrooms during the heady…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Lost Japan as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

So many people come to Japan hoping to see the twisty streets lined with traditional wooden houses and little manicured gardens and feel a bit let down when they realize how much of it has been lost. I was (and in a way still am) one of those people.

Earthquakes, war, and a love for the new have caused much of the Japanese landscape to lose its traditional views. While at some points a little out of date, Kerr has a wonderful way of capturing the beauty of the old and how the new has taken hold. This is not…

From Chiara's list on books before visiting Japan.

In this award-winning memoir, first penned in Japanese, artist, collector, and Japanologist Alex Kerr recounts three decades of experience backstage of Japan’s rich cultural and artistic life. He rubs shoulders with Kabuki stars, art dealers, and literati, leads readers through Osaka’s demimonde, and pulls back the curtain on Tokyo boardrooms during the dizzying bubble years. But the heart of the book revolves around something more ephemeral: an ode to Japan’s fading traditional culture, found in the secluded temples of Nara, Kyoto’s hidden corners, and most palpably, Shikoku’s remote, vine-tangled Iya Valley, which Kerr made his home. This book gave me…

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