A Traveller's History of Japan by Richard Tames
'It succeeds admirably in its goal of making the present country comprehensible through a narrative of its past, with asides on everything from bonsai to zazen, in a brisk, highly readable style...you could easily read it on the flight over if you skip the movie.' WASHINGTON POST Whether you are going to Japan on business, to study, to teach or simply on vacation, you know that you are going to a country which really does merit the title 'unique'. A TRAVELLER'S HISTORY OF JAPAN not only offers the reader a chronological outline of the nation's development but also provides an invaluable introduction to its language, literature and arts, from kabuki to karaoke. Political, social and industrial history and economics are also well covered; this clearly written history explains how a country embedded in the traditions of Shinto, Shoguns and Samurai achieved stupendous economic growth in the twentieth century only to lose its way at the turn of the millennium.