walking the kiso road a modern day exploration of old japan

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Walking The Kiso Road

Author : William Scott Wilson
ISBN : 9780834803176
Genre : Travel
File Size : 57. 56 MB
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Take a trip to old Japan with William Scott Wilson as he travels the ancient Kiso Road, a legendary route that remains much the same today as it was hundreds of years ago. The Kisoji, which runs through the Kiso Valley in the Japanese Alps, has been in use since at least 701 C.E. In the seventeenth century, it was the route that the daimyo (warlords) used for their biennial trips—along with their samurai and porters—to the new capital of Edo (now Tokyo). The natural beauty of the route is renowned—and famously inspired the landscapes of Hiroshige, as well as the work of many other artists and writers. Wilson, esteemed translator of samurai philosophy, has walked the road several times and is a delightful and expert guide to this popular tourist destination; he shares its rich history and lore, literary and artistic significance, cuisine and architecture, as well as his own experiences.

Under Another Sky Journeys In Roman Britain

Author : Charlotte Higgins
ISBN : 9781468312362
Genre : History
File Size : 44. 30 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the captivating and haunting exploration of the remnants of an empire What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse? Sometimes on foot, sometimes in a magnificent, if not entirely reliable, VW camper van, Charlotte Higgins sets out to explore the ancient monuments of Roman Britain. She explores the land that was once Rome’s northernmost territory and how it has changed since the years after the empire fell. Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and British history, in an entirely fresh way: as indelibly marked by how the Romans first imagined and wrote, these strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of the known world, into existence.

Dispatches From Pluto

Author : Richard Grant
ISBN : 9781476709659
Genre : Travel
File Size : 21. 91 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Winner of the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Mississippi's #1 Bestseller of 2015 and 2016 (The Clarion-Ledger) A New York Times Bestseller In Dispatches from Pluto, adventure writer Richard Grant takes on “the most American place on Earth”—the enigmatic, beautiful, often derided Mississippi Delta. Richard Grant and his girlfriend were living in a shoebox apartment in New York City when they decided on a whim to buy an old plantation house in the Mississippi Delta. Dispatches from Pluto is their journey of discovery into this strange and wonderful American place. Imagine A Year In Provence with alligators and assassins, or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with hunting scenes and swamp-to-table dining. On a remote, isolated strip of land, three miles beyond the tiny community of Pluto, Richard and his girlfriend, Mariah, embark on a new life. They learn to hunt, grow their own food, and fend off alligators, snakes, and varmints galore. They befriend an array of unforgettable local characters—blues legend T-Model Ford, cookbook maven Martha Foose, catfish farmers, eccentric millionaires, and the actor Morgan Freeman. Grant brings an adept, empathetic eye to the fascinating people he meets, capturing the rich, extraordinary culture of the Delta, while tracking its utterly bizarre and criminal extremes. Reporting from all angles as only an outsider can, Grant also delves deeply into the Delta’s lingering racial tensions. He finds that de facto segregation continues. Yet even as he observes major structural problems, he encounters many close, loving, and interdependent relationships between black and white families—and good reasons for hope. Dispatches from Pluto is a book as unique as the Delta itself. It’s lively, entertaining, and funny, containing a travel writer’s flair for in-depth reporting alongside insightful reflections on poverty, community, and race. It’s also a love story, as the nomadic Grant learns to settle down. He falls not just for his girlfriend but for the beguiling place they now call home. Mississippi, Grant concludes, is the best-kept secret in America.

Where The Dead Pause And The Japanese Say Goodbye A Journey

Author : Marie Mutsuki Mockett
ISBN : 9780393246742
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 37. 85 MB
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“Read it. You will be uplifted.”—Ruth Ozeki, Zen priest, author of A Tale for the Time Being Marie Mutsuki Mockett's family owns a Buddhist temple 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In March 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, radiation levels prohibited the burial of her Japanese grandfather's bones. As Japan mourned thousands of people lost in the disaster, Mockett also grieved for her American father, who had died unexpectedly. Seeking consolation, Mockett is guided by a colorful cast of Zen priests and ordinary Japanese who perform rituals that disturb, haunt, and finally uplift her. Her journey leads her into the radiation zone in an intricate white hazmat suit; to Eiheiji, a school for Zen Buddhist monks; on a visit to a Crab Lady and Fuzzy-Headed Priest’s temple on Mount Doom; and into the "thick dark" of the subterranean labyrinth under Kiyomizu temple, among other twists and turns. From the ecstasy of a cherry blossom festival in the radiation zone to the ghosts inhabiting chopsticks, Mockett writes of both the earthly and the sublime with extraordinary sensitivity. Her unpretentious and engaging voice makes her the kind of companion a reader wants to stay with wherever she goes, even into the heart of grief itself.

Minka

Author : John Roderick
ISBN : 9781568989624
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 81. 95 MB
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In 1959 journalist John Roderick joined the Tokyo bureau of the Associated Press. There, he befriended a Japanese family, the Takishitas. After musing offhandedly that he would like to one day have his own house in Japan, the family—unbeknownst to John—set out to grant his wish. They found Roderick a 250-year-old minka, or hand-built farmhouse, with a thatched roof and held together entirely by wooden pegs and joinery. It was about to be washed away by flooding and was being offered for only fourteen dollars. Roderick graciously bought the house, but was privately dismayed at the prospect of living in this enormous old relic lacking heating, bathing, plumbing, and proper kitchen facilities. So the minka was dismantled and stored, where Roderick secretly hoped it would stay, as it did for several years. But Roderick's reverence for natural materials and his appreciation of traditional Japanese and Shinto craftsmanship eventually got the better of him. Before long a team of experienced carpenters were hoisting massive beams, laying wide wooden floors, and attaching the split-bamboo ceiling. In just forty days they rebuilt the house on a hill overlooking Kamakura, the ancient capital of Japan. Working together, they renovated the farmhouse, adding features such as floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and a modern kitchen, bath, and toilet. From these humble beginnings, Roderick's minka has become internationally known and has hosted such luminaries as President George H. W. Bush, and Senator Hillary Clinton. John Roderick's architectural memoir Minka tells the compelling and often poignant story of how one man fell in love with the people, culture, and ancient building traditions of Japan, and reminds us all about the importance of craftsmanship and the meaning of place and home in the process.

Afoot In Japan

Author : Yasumi Roan
ISBN : 1535503297
Genre :
File Size : 45. 24 MB
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Some two hundred and fifty years ago, there was a historicalcultural shift in Japan that witnessed people of every socialstripe on the road, sometimes for weeks and even months, outfor the sheer pleasure of being out and away from their everyday lives. As the number of travelers increased on the roads, so did the number of inns, tea houses, noodle shops and souvenir shops-many still extant today-to accommodate them. In time, this led to a great cross-section of ideas and local cultures, and came to help redefine what it meant to be Japanese. This was ref lected especially in literature, and by the early 1800s, detailed guidebooks were published making travel all the more convenient.After numerous requests from his friends, Yasumi Roan, an experienced traveler, wrote and published Ryoko yojinshu, here entitled Afoot in Japan, in 1810. In this short work he includes detailed tips, information, and instructive poems on a myriad subjects: from footwear, changes in water, poisonous bugs, what to wear in colder climates to how to prevent fatigue. For the more security-minded, there are even printed talismans to ward off whatever dangers one might encounter on the road.Traveling on foot in an unfamiliar environment presents many of thesame problems to the modern Japanese as it does to the Westerner who decides to go off the beaten path in Japan today. Thus, the periodic republications of this two hundred year old book in the original and modern Japanese, and this English translation as well. Shod with a good pair of shoes and carrying a copy of Roan's tips, the adventurous hiker-either rural or urban-will be well-equipped for a safe and rewarding journey.-- WSW

Ametora

Author : W. David Marx
ISBN : 9780465073870
Genre : Design
File Size : 21. 22 MB
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Look closely at any typically “American” article of clothing these days, and you may be surprised to see a Japanese label inside. From high-end denim to oxford button-downs, Japanese designers have taken the classic American look—known as ametora, or “American traditional”—and turned it into a huge business for companies like Uniqlo, Kamakura Shirts, Evisu, and Kapital. This phenomenon is part of a long dialogue between Japanese and American fashion; in fact, many of the basic items and traditions of the modern American wardrobe are alive and well today thanks to the stewardship of Japanese consumers and fashion cognoscenti, who ritualized and preserved these American styles during periods when they were out of vogue in their native land. In Ametora, cultural historian W. David Marx traces the Japanese assimilation of American fashion over the past hundred and fifty years, showing how Japanese trendsetters and entrepreneurs mimicked, adapted, imported, and ultimately perfected American style, dramatically reshaping not only Japan's culture but also our own in the process.

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