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Japan: People and Culture

An introduction to Japanese and Japanese American culture through fiction & non-fiction. Fiction is shelved alphabetically by author.

Chan, Peter
Creating a Japanese Garden
q SB458.C4495 2003x
Color photographs illustrate the process of constructing a unique courtyard, strolling, or Zen garden. A plethora of traditional Japanese garden elements are offered, including rocks, water, plants, fences, ladders, stepping stones, lanterns, and gates.
 
Creef, Elena Tajima
Imaging Japanese America: The Visual Construction of Citizenship, Nation, and the Body
NX652.J37 C74 2004
Creef examines the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans in 1941, and its effect on the popular image of today's Japanese Americans. Photos, dramatic cartoons, and film depicting the Japanese-American perspective of the internment are also used in exploring the enduring ramifications of this period.
 
Kosaki, Takayuki
The Food of Japan: Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Rising Sun
TX724.5.J3 F66 1995
This is an informative guide illustrated with stylish photographs for each recipe. Includes sections on Japan's culture and cuisine, specialized cooking techniques, and an illustrated glossary.
 
Murakami, Haruki
South of the Border, West of the Sun
This story follows a man's life through school, college, marriage and his career as a successful bar owner after he loses touch with his first love in elementary school. He is forced to confront the nature of love when the childhood sweetheart re-enters his life.
 
Nakazawa, Keiji
Barefoot Gen
This is the story of a family that survives the bombing of Hiroshima written and illustrated by a survivor of the bombing, told in the manga (Japanese comics) style. The conventions of this style are used to great effect in portraying the personal and emotional aspects of this story as well as the purely historical. Episodes of self-sacrifice and humor add richness and optimism to this tragic tale.
 
Sakamoto, Kerri
One Hundred Million Hearts
After the death of her father, a young woman raised in Toronto travels to Tokyo with her step-mother to meet the half-sister she never knew. The two sisters bond through the exploration of theirs father hidden past as a Kamikaze pilot during World War II.
 
Say, Allen
Tea with Milk
A Japanese-American teen experiences culture shock when her family relocates to Japan. She shirks the restrictions of the traditional woman's role by moving to Osaka to reclaim her independence. Beautifully illustrated in ink and watercolor.
 
Say, Allen
Grandfather's Journey
"The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other." This statement hints at the feelings of the narrator and his grandfather explored through the telling of their shared history in America and Japan. Beautifully illustrated in a family album format.
 
Yumoto, Kazumi
The Letters
A woman reflects on a painful period in her life while traveling to the funeral of the landlady who cared for her during a childhood sickness. Years earlier, the woman told the child that she plans to deliver letters to the departed when she dies, prompting the girl to compose a letter to her recently deceased father.
 

Updated: 1/6/2010