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Adachi Fumie
Japanese Design Motifs
4260 Illustrations of Heraldic Crests
Dover Publications NY (in UK Constable & Co) 1972
The Japanese Mon or family crest goes back to the 11th century and is worn on kimono on ceremonial occasions. This collection illustrates designs used but the names of the families are only in Japanese.

Adams & Newton Andy & Clyde
Gallery Books (an imprint of W H Smith Publishers Inc) 1989

Allen & Wilson Louis & Jean
Lafcadio Hearn: Japan's Great Interpreter

A new anthology of his writings 1894-1904
Japan Library Ltd, Sandgate Folkestone Kent CT20 3EE
Short articles, letters, and comments on Hearn's status as a writer and interpreter of things Japanese.

Baten Lea
Japanese Dolls

The Image and the Motif
Shufunotomo Co Ltd Tokyo 1986/88
An historical survey of the place of the doll - more than a child's toy - in Japanese culture, profusely illustrated.

Bauer & Carlquist Helen & Sherwin
Japanese Festivals
Doubleday & Co N.Y. 1965
Detiled calendar of even fairly minor festivals. Would be useful if planning a trip to see matsuri.

Blomberg Catharina
The Heart of the Warrior
Origins and Religious Background of the Samurai System in Feudal Japan
Japan Library (Curzon Press) 1994
Scholarly but interesting analysis

Bowring & Kornicki (eds) Richard & Peter
The Cambridge Encyclopædia of Japan
Cambridge University Press 1993
0 521 40352 9
Extensive and well illustrated series of essays under the headings of Geography, History, Language & Literature, Thought & Religion, Arts & Crafts, Society, Politics, and Economy - 400 pp.

Buisson Dominique
The Art of Japanese Paper
Masks, Lanterns, Kites, Dolls, Origami
Pierre Terrail 1992

Bush Lewis
Tokyo News Service Ltd 1959
Laid out like a dictionary, consisting of short articles on all aspects of culture and history.

Chandler Billie T
Japanese Family Life
with Doll-and-Flower Arrangements
Charles E Tuttle Co 1963
57 pages, bound in red and gold brocade, this small format book gives unusual representations of Japanese life. After 34 pages of introduction there are 12 double-page colour photographs of the arrangements.

Clavell (ed) James
Sun Tzu: The Art of War
Hodder & Stoughton 1981
0 340 27604 5
Classic work on military strategy and tactics, still used today. A Chinese text, it was required reading for samurai generals.

Coe Stella
A practical & philosophical guide to Japanese flower arrangement
Octopus Books 1984
0 7064 2774 2
Beautifully illustrated with colour photos

Collcutt, Jansen & Kumakura Martin, Marius & Isao
Cultural Atlas of Japan
Phaedon Press Ltd 1988

Condon John
In Search of What's Japanese about Japan
Shufunotomo Co Ltd 1974
Co-author Keisuke Kurata. Introduction to Japanese life-style and culture using a combination of text and photographs.

Dalby Lisa Crihfield
Little Songs of the Geisha World
Charles E Tuttle 1979
0-8048 1292-6
Words of geisha songs with original in hiragana script and translations, in attractive small format.

Dalby Liza Crihfield
Fashioning Culture
Yale University Press 1993
Definitive text on history, culture and wearing of the kimono. Beautifully illustrated, including detiled colour combinations used in Heian layered robes.

de Bary William Theodore
Introduction to Oriental Civilisations
Sources of the Japanese Tradition
Columbia University Press 1958
Part of a three-volume series dealing with the civilisations of Japan, China, India and Pakistan. Contains source readings that tell us what the Japanese have thought about themselves, the world they lived in and the problems they faced living together. Meant to provide the general reader with an understanding of the background of contemporary Japanese civilisation, especially as is reflected in the intellectual traditions still alive today. Heavy, but contains interesting parallels with modern life, and not just in Japan.

Gakken (pub)
Pictorial Encyclopædia of Japanese Culture
The soul and Heritage of Japan
Gakken 1990
If you could have only one book on Japanese culture it would have to be this one! Lavishly illustrated in colour it is an excellent guide to the culture, history and society of Japan.

Gluckman & Takeda Dale Carolyn & Sharon Sadako
When Art Became Fashion
Kosode in Edo period Japan
Weatherhill/Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Lavishly illustrated book showing the development of the kosode (type of kimono) including pictures of actual garments and reproductions of paintings and prints

Hadland Davis F
Myths and Legends of Japan
George G Harrap and Company 1912

Hall & Beardsley John W & Richard K
Twelve Doors to Japan
McGraw Hill 1965
Really a textbook for American students, this is designed to show views of Japan through different academic disciplines. It is written in a very heavy, pedantic style and much of its information is out of date. Only for masochists ...!

Hashimoto Sumiko
Keppatsu to Kamikazari
(Hairdressing and hair ornaments)
Nihon no Bijutsu No. 23 Tokyo 1968
Hairstyles (and the combs and pins used) traced from earliest times to the Meiji period, well illustrated by paintings prints and photos - very useful for identifying the approximate date of prints etc.

Hearn Lafcadio
Gleanings in Buddha Fields
Studies of Hand and Soul in the Far East
Jonathan Cape (Travellers Library) 1927 (this edn)
Some interesting insights into (his view of) Buddhism and Japanese culture

Hearn Lafcadio
Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan
Charles E Tuttle Company 1976 (1st pub 1894)

Hearn Lafcadio
In Ghostly Japan
Charles E Tuttle Co Inc 1971 (1st pub 1899)
Collection of musings and stories relating to the supernatural and Buddhism. Rather fragmentary.

Hearn Lafcadio
Out of the East
Reveries & Studies in New Japan
Charles E Tuttle Co 1972 (1st pub 1897)
Reflections on Japan by the author (half Irish, half Greek) who settled in Japan. Includes contemporary view of what are now historical events, thoughts on the Japanese character and attitudes to life and death, illustrated by anecdotes.

Henderson & Calvert B L K & C
Wonder Tales of Old Japan
Philip Allan & Co London 1924

Hickman Brian (ed)
Japanese Crafts: Materials and their Applications
Selected early papers from the Japan Society of London
East-West Publications 1978
0 85692 005 3
Well illustrated with sections on wood, bamboo, metals, archery, arrow heads, leather, sword blades and decorations, a swordmaking family, fortifications.

Hutt & Alexander, Julia & Hélène
A history of the Japanese fan
Dauphin Publishing Ltd 1992
1-872357-08 3
Beautifully illustrated with good text on the history and development.

Ishinimori Shtar
Japan Inc.
An introduction to Japanese Economics (The Comic Book)
University of California Press 1988
Translated by Betsey Scheiner. This book conveys some quite complex economic concepts by means of a story in manga comic format.

Ishimura, Hayao & Maruyama, Nobuhiko
Robes of Elegance
Japanese Kimonos of the 16th-20th Centuries
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh 1988
Catalogue of an exhibition showing the diversity and richness of the kimono through superb illustrations and a useful introduction.

Ito Yacco
Such a friendly Country
Sumax (Private pubs) Sitzerland 1966
Diary of a Japanese girl visiting America, which points up cultural differences

Japan Foundation
Japan Style
Serindia Publications/Kodansha 1980
0 906026 03 2
Nicely illustrated, may help to pin down that elusive 'feel' of Japanese elegance.

Kenneway Eric
Complete Origami
An A-A of facts and folds, with step-by-step instructions for over 100 projects
Ebury Press 1987

Kirkwood Kenneth P
Renaissance in Japan
A cultural survey of the Seventeenth Century
Charles E Tuttle 1970
The author is so keen to display his knowledge of European literature that there is more of this than Japanese. Pompous style and some errors - not recommended.

Kirollos Samira
The Wind Children
and other tales from Japan
Andre Deutsch 1989
0 233 98442 9

Kurosawa Akira
Various films
Drunken Angel (1948), Seven Samurai (1954 - the inspiration for the Western, The Magnificent Seven), Throne of Blood (1956 - reworking of MacBeth), The Hidden Fortress (1958), Red Beard (1964), Kagemusha - the Shadow Warrior (1980), Record of a Living Being, The Lower Depths, Yojimbo - the Bodyguard (the Western, A Fistful of Dollars was based on it), Sanjuro (sequel to Yojimbo), Ran (the King Lear story transferred to Japan )
Kurosawa's films are internationally acclaimed in their own right and are possibly more successful abroad than in Japan, but they are very good at providing atmosphere, particularly the historical settings which are meticulously done.

Lewis Peter
The Way to the Martial Arts
Windward (an imprint of W H Smith & Son Ltd) 1986

Liddell Jill
The Story of the Kimono

E P Dutton (a division of Penguin Books USA) 1989
Beautifully illustrated, it tells of the development of the kimono in the context of Japanese history.

Masanobu Kudo
The History of Ikebana
Translated by Jay & Sumi Gluck
Shufunotomo Co Ltd Japan 1989
A slim paperback which manages to cover the history, theory and practice of Ikebana together with many illustrations.

McAlpine Helen & William
Japanese Tales and Legends
O U P 1964

Newman John
Bushido The Way of the Warrior
A New Perspective on the Japanese Military Tradition
Magna Books 1989

Nippon Geijutsu Shuppansha Ltd
Nippon Geijutsu Shuppansha Ltd 1984
Home of the famous drummers - book of photographs by Komaro Hoshino.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd
The Dawns of Tradition
Nissan Motor Co Ltd 1983
Prestige publication with appropriate "plugs". It gives an overview of Japan and its cultural traditions in an easy to read, lavishly illustrated format.

Nitobe Inazo
The Soul of Japan
Charles E Tuttle 1969
First published in 1905, the author seeks to explain the ideals and customs of bushido, the code of the samurai, in simple terms, drawing on parallels in European history and literature.

Nitschke Günter
Japanese Gardens
Benedikt Taschen Verlag 1993
Full of colour photos

Obata Toshishiro
Naked Blade
A manual of Samurai Swordsmanship
Dragon Books 1986
0 946062 18 8
By a master of Kenjutsu this well-illustrated book gives some idea of the power of the Japanese sword and shows the techniques used.

Patmore Angela
The Giants of Sumo
Macdonald Queen Anne Press 1990

Piggott Juliet
Japanese Mythology
Newnes Books 1984
0 600 34284 0
Stories told very briefly but illustrated by many colour and B&W photos of art and artefacts

Richie (ed) Donald
Discover Japan (2 vols)
Words Customs and Concepts
Kodansha 1990
Short articles each illustrated on aspects of Japanese life and culture.

Rudofsky Bernard
The Kimono Mind
An Informal Guide to Japan and the Japanese
Victor Gollancz Ltd 1965
Informative and entertaining guide to the Japanese way of thinking.

Sawano Takashi
The Art of Japanese Gardening
Hamlyn 1989
0 600 55110 5
Large format book illustrated in colour and B&W which helps to explain the symbolism and artistry of the different styles of Japanese garden.

Smith Richard Gordon
Ancient Tales & Folklore of Japan
Senate 1995
1 85958 070 3
Collection of short tales

Statler Oliver
The catalogue of everything Japanese
Columbus Books 1984
Well illustrated, based on a variety of themes - entertaining.

Suwa Shigeo & Shizuko
Japanese Paper Dolls
Shufunotomo Co Ltd Tokyo 1990 (7th printing)
Detailed step by step instructions and illustrations showing how to make traditional Shimotsuke paper dolls: it also illustrates various traditional hair styles which is useful for historical studies.

Suzuki Daisetz T.
Zen and Japanese Culture
Princeton University Press 1970
Originally published in 1936 this book sets out to explain what Zen is and then show how it influenced the Samurai, swordsmanship, haiku, the tea ceremony, Noh plays etc. As any explanation of Zen is by definition impossible the book makes for fairly hard reading but those who persevere may gain some feeling for the traditional Japanese approach to life and art.

Tames Richard
The Japan Handbook
A Guide for Teachers
Paul Norbury Publications Ltd 1981
Sections on History, Geography and various aspects of Japanese culture, with bibliographies and suggested topics for discussion.

Tasker Peter
The Japanese
A Major Exploration of Modern Japan
Truman Talley Books/E P Dutton 1988
American hardback edition of Inside Japan qv

Time-Life Books Inc
Library of Nations
Time-Life Books Inc 1985
7045 0848 5
Beautifully illustrated.

Umesao Tadao (ed)
Seventy-seven keys to the civilization of Japan
Sogensha Inc 1985
77 topics shedding light on history & culture, separate leaflet of notes giving Kanji for relevant terms, and good chronology.

Van Arsdale Jay
How to design, build and install Japanese screens
Kodansha International 1988
Discusses the aesthetics of shoji, explains the traditional tools used by Japanese carpenters, and gives plans for building shoji - ideal to add a Japanese touch to your home!

Wachs Iris
A Living Japanese Tradition
Haifa Museum of Music and Ethnology 1993
Catalogue of exhibition held at Haifa. Well illustrated, text concise but useful. Good introduction to kimono technicalities

Watson Lyall
The Channel Four Book of Sumo
(First Edition)
Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd 1988

Watson Lyall
The Channel Four Book of Sumo
(Second - revised - Edition)
Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd 1989

Yagi Koji
A Japanese touch for your home
Kodansha International 1987
Large format book beautifully illustrated in colour and B&W which explains the traditional Japanese approach to architecture and interior design, providing plans and inspiration to bring some of the atmosphere of Japan to a modern Western house.

Yamakei (pub)
Nihon no Matsuri
Festivals of Japan
Yamakei Colour Guide Showa 42 (1967)
Beautiful colour photographs of all major festivals. Japanese text but English captions.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai
translated by William Scott Wilson
Kodansha International
A collection of sayings which embody the philosophy of the Samurai ideal. Heavy going in parts but sheds a good deal of light on the apparently callous behaviour of the Japanese Army in WWII.

Yamanaka Norio
The Book of Kimono
The Complete Guide to Style and Wear
Kodansha International 1982
Well illustrated comprehensive guide to the kimono and accessories with diagrams showing how it is worn.

General (inc art, crafts, sumo) Japanese Literature Food, Drink and Cookery Ukiyo-e Return to Bibliography Index Return to SJS home page