What's New

Travel and

and Relating






Pop Culture


and Spirit





(in translation)

Learning the

In Japan

Fiction with

For Expats

Classic and

Thinking about
working in
Japan? Pick
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O-Hayo Sensei
the world's
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Looking for
a unique gift?
How about a handmade
Sushi, DimSum
or Manju Clock?

Clay Workers!
Learn how to
throw better
pieces using
Japanese tools,
the gyubera
(cow's tongue).


Unless you happen to live near a specialty bookstore, a good selection of Japan-related titles is hard to find. That's why we've researched, collected and now offer these handpicked titles -- we think it's the best selection of the best books about Japan, anywhere.

So what, you ask, do those categories over on the left-hand side of the page actually mean? Well, there's a quick rundown below, but please feel free to wander the aisles (no need to check your backpack, and you can take that wet umbrella right along with you).

Travel and Exploration: The latest titles from the likes of Baedeker, Fodor and Frommer, as well as lesser-known gems.

Living and Relating: Books to help ease a stay in Japan, like Finding a Home in Tokyo, Japan for Kids: The Ultimate Guide for Parents and Their Children and The Simple Guide to Japan Customs and Etiquette.

Teaching (Employment): Titles for job hunters.

Teaching (Materials): Books for working English teachers, covering everything from Classroom Teacher's ESL Survival Kit to ESL Songs and Games 101 Word Games for Students of English As a Second or Foreign Language..

Business: Books about Japanese business style and culture, including Anatomy of Japanese Business, and Bringing Home the Sushi: An American Businessman and His Family Takes on 90's Japan.

Traditional World: Titles that capture all the details, from court life to samurai codes, like Edo Culture: Daily Life and Diversions in Urban Japan, 1600-1868 and Koryu Bujutsu: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan.

Contemporary Culture: Good reads about Japanese society, like The Electric Geisha: Exploring Japan's Popular Culture and Modern Japan Through Its Weddings: Gender, Person, and Society in Ritual Portrayal.

Pop Culture: A whole shelf of fun books like Samurai from Outer Space: Understanding Japanese Animation, Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!: The Incredible World of Japanese Fantasy Films and The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture.

Traditional Culture: There are: Karate books, Jujitsu books, Judo books, Kyudo (Archery) books, Aikido books, Kendo books, Ninjutsu books, Traditional Japanese Music CDs, Sumo books, Go books, Shogi books, Garden books, Suiseki books, Sumi-e books, Ukiyo-e books, Tea Ceremony books, Ceramic/Pottery books, Bonsai books, Kabuki books, Temari books, Ikebana books, Netsuke books and Origami books.

Mind and Spirit: Titles exploring philosophy (like Japanese Mind: Essentials of Japanese Philosophy and Culture), Shinto (including The National Faith of Japan: A Study of Modern Shinto), Buddhism (The Buddhist Priest Myoe: A Life of Dreams) and Christianity (like The Beginning of Heaven and Earth: The Sacred Book of Japan's Hidden Christians).

History: Learn about Japan's past by reading books like The Cambridge History of Japan: Ancient Japan, the Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History and Factory Girls: Women in the Thread Mills of Meiji Japan.

Architecture: Construct a better understanding Japanese space with titles including Traditional Domestic Architecture of Japan, Space in Japanese Architecture and The Making of a Modern Japanese Architecture: 1868 to the Present.

Cuisine: We have plated a delicious selection of books about food, including The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking, Japanese Cooking by 15 Japanese Culinary Experts and of course lots of books about sushi!

Japanese Literature: Over 200 books by Japan's greatest authors, including Abe, Arishima, Dazai, Ibuse, Ikezawa, Ishiguro, Izumi, Kawabata, Kita, Kono, Mishima, Murakami, Nitta, Oe, Okamoto, Soseki, Tachihara, Takagi, Tanizaki, Tezuka, Uno, Yamada, Yoshikawa and Yoshimoto, plus short story collections, poetry and criticism. Don't leave home without reading them!

Learning the Japanese Language: titles focusing on Kanji, Hiragana/Katakana, general guides and different dictionaries (Kanji, English-Japanese, Japanese-English and miscellaneous -- like Beyond Polite Japanese: A Dictionary of Japanese Slang and Colloquialisms).

Gaijins In Japan: It may seem like you're going where no man (or woman) has gone before, but "gaijins" (foreigners) have been kicking around Japan for years. This aisle brings together the most interesting accounts, like Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan.

Fiction with Japanese/Asian Themes: Contemporary titles by non-Japanese authors that simply have something to do with Japan. Sounds odd, but check out this interesting batch of mysteries, expat fiction and historical romances.

For Expats Only: For English language readers far from home. The top-ten current fiction and non-fiction paperbacks.

Classic and Contemporary Videos and DVDs: Great movies, like the Baby Cart series, The Ballad of Narayama and Dodes 'Ka-Den. Of course we carry some of the lesser known flicks, too, like Ghost in the Shell, The Seven Samurai, Tampopo and a whole bunch of movies about some guy named Godzilla.