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A Beginner’s Guide to Japan (Hardback)

A playful and profound guidebook full of surprising, brief, incisive glimpses into Japanese culture.

SKU: 9781526611536 Category:


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Winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Memoir of the Year 2020

Pico Iyer has been living around Kyoto for more than thirty-two years, but he admits at the outset of this book that he sometimes feels he knows less now than when he arrived. In the constantly surprising pages that follow, he shows how an evening with Meryl Streep, a walk through a ghostly deer park, even a call to the local Apple service centre can open up his adopted home in fresh and invigorating ways.
Why does anime make sense in an animist culture? How might Oscar Wilde reveal a culture too often associated with conformity? How can Japanese friends in a typical neighbourhood turn every stereotype on its head? His provocations may infuriate you o may even infuriate himself o Iyer confesses in his opening salvo, but maybe it's only by setting its love hotels next to its baseball stadia, its wild fashions against its eighth-century values, that Japan can be made new again for both the first-time visitor and the jaded foreign resident.


Pico Iyer is the author of more than a dozen books which have been translated into twenty-three languages. His four recent TED Talks have received more than eight million views so far. In the summer of 2019, he was Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton, Guest Director of the Telluride Film Festival and the first official writer-in-residence at Raffles Hotel Singapore. An essayist for Time magazine since 1986, Iyer writes regularly for the Financial Times, the New York Times, the New York Review of BooksGranta and more than 200 magazines around the world.

Book Title

A Beginner's Guide to Japan (Hardback)






Travel Writing




205mm X 138mm

Date Published

September 2019



Weight0.330 kg


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