From my list on Japan’s global history.
Who am I?
I first came to Japan knowing nothing about the place I was going to live. With hindsight, that was perhaps foolish, but it started my adventure in Japanese history. At first, I stumbled through blindly, reading the odd book and watching dramas and movies for fun. But then I discovered Yasuke, an African who became samurai in 1581. He focused me, and I started reading to discover his world. History means nothing without knowing what came before and after, so I read more, and more, until suddenly, I was publishing books and articles, and appearing on Japanese TV. It has gone well beyond the African Samurai now, but I am eternally grateful to him for his guidance.
Thomas' book list on Japan’s global history
Why did Thomas love this book?
As with number 4, I recommend anything by Leslie Downer, but can only choose one, so chose this. It gave me a view of Japanese history that I had never encountered before and told the story of Japan’s first truly global superstar, Kawakami Sadayakko. It is criminal that this lady is not better known, as she was a key player in the formation of the modern Japanese entertainment industry and the popularization of Japanese culture around the globe. Very well written and researched. An excellent read.