Kansai - the western Japanese region that boasts the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara, the exciting commercial city of Osaka, and the cosmopolitan port city of Kobe - is home to Japan's oldest history, an area where the country's most time-honoured arts and crafts still thrive. It's also the birthplace of video games, manga and anime, a centre of robotics, and an otaku heaven. Worldly and otherworldly, spirited and spiritual, trendy and traditional, it's a place where past and future live side-by-side, sometimes at odds.
In Kasai Cool, anthropologist, writer and filmmaker Christal Whelan offers deep insights into the push and pull of old and new in Japan's ancient heartland. Part travel book, part cultural commentary, this collection of 25 essays paints a broad yet penetrating portrait of the region and its unique energy. From deep-seated ancient beliefs in Kyoto to costume play in Osaka and haute cuisine in Kobe, Wheln delves below the surface to let readers experience how art, science, faith and history swirl together in this singular wellsrping of Japanese culture.
'Endlessly engaging and supremely readable' - Simon Winchester