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A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony Paperback – June 10, 2011
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"The geek in Japan of the title is of course Garcia. He has written a sharp and concise guide to Japan. It is comprehensive and well done. Among many topics, A Geek in Japan covers traditional culture, history, character, work, society, manga & anime, music, movies & television, Tokyo, and visiting the rest of Japan. This is a book by and for Japanophiles. Each section comes with photos, sidebars, and the knowledge of a long-time Japanhand. Very well done." —Japan Visitor
"Everyone who is interested in Japan will find this book fascinating." —Larry Ellison, cofounder and CEO, Oracle Corporation
"One of the funniest and yet most accurate descriptions of modern Japanese culture that I've ever seen. Highly recommended!" —Joichi Ito, director, MIT Media Lab
"Hector and I share a deep interest and affection for all things Japanese. But in my case, I only get to enjoy Japan on my business trips. Back in Spain, I like to keep in touch. And that I do reading kirainet, 'A geek in Japan.' Now you can do the same. And in book format. Enjoy!" —Martin Varsavsky, entrepreneur, founder of Fon and Safe Democracy Foundation
"Filled with a load of photos and information about Japan—a must read." —Danny Choo, Tokyo entrepreneur and owner of www.dannychoo.com
"While not a traditional guide book, A Geek in Japan certainly makes a reader want to hop on a plane to experience everything firsthand." —San Francisco Book Review
"Comprehensive and well informed, A Geek in Japan covers a wide array of topics in short articles accompanied by numerous photographs, providing a lively digest of the society and culture of Japan." —Japan Today
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Die-hard Japanophiles probably won't encounter too much in the way of new information here -- the strength of the book is purely in its presentation. Within the pages of this slim volume, you get hundreds of color photos of every aspect of Japan, every one of them dynamic, without the usual "travelogue" pics so many books have resorted to. I was particularly pleased to see the author has taken the "little bit of everything" approach, which means you can open a page at random and find something interesting to read. This isn't a single narrative, but rather made up of page-long sections covering everything from food to Japanese company dynamics. Bonus points for a two-page spread that demonstrates the evolution of "Densha Otoko" from anonymous forum posting to full-fledged Japanese multimedia phenomenon.
If you are looking for a traditional guidebook to Japan, Fodor's has an excellent offering (I have theirs too,) but if you want a more youthful guide to contemporary Japan that is entertaining while still being useful, "A Geek in Japan" will be certain to pique your interest.
The author is an amazing photographer, and the whole book is populated with beautiful photos illustrating the different aspects of the Japanese culture. This fun, dynamic and colorful presentation manages to bring this book to life. You will find yourself jumping from section to section looking at fun pictures, and every time you start reading one of the sections it becomes so engaging that you will have to read it all. The narrative is fresh, fun and easy to read, while at the same time providing very complete and accurate description of a myriad of topics from the ancient traditions to the modern popular culture, and plenty of tips for travelers.
I got this book a couple of days ago, it is such a page turner than I went through it almost non-stop, and I find myself reading again sections I like and looking at the pictures on them. I highly recommend it.
The earlier sections discuss the history of Japan briefly. It's actually fun. A brief mention is made of the shogunate and all, but the author quickly moves on to the more interesting historical aspects. We read about the four writing systems used in Japan. We also look at Ukiyo-e (simply one of my personal favorite art styles), martial arts, calligraphy, religion (Shinto is really interesting), and traditions such as the tea ceremony and de-bunking myths about Geisha.
The heart of the book discusses current culture and society in Japan, from working folks, to younger folks. The author discusses the interesting after hours 'work party' atmosphere prevalent in Japan. He also makes mention of schooling and the intense competition for entrance into prestigious high schools and universities. We also read about the intense pressure put on these school kids.
A lot of content is spent on modern pop culture in Japan. By modern, I mean post WW2. We look at the history of manga and anime. One section is dedicated to current music in Japan and mentions bands such as L'arc en Ciel and Orange Range.
The final section covers briefly some of the sights to see when visiting Japan.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I lived in Japan for nearly 2 yrs and this is an excellent coverage of J culture and daily life. A page-turner for anyone with even a slight interest in Japan.Published 1 month ago by abookreader
A unique perspective into Japanese culture. Very relatable and great pictures.Published 1 month ago by Paul in Cleveland
Easy read. Good book to read before your first visit to Japan, particularly Tokyo. Good explanations of the culture and good suggestions for visiting the various neighborhoods in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Hector Ribera
A really enjoyable introduction to Japan's contemporary popular culture, subcultures with some brief historical background and lots of great photos.Published 2 months ago by MW
Overall this book was fun to read. It's a great resource if you are interested in Japan. The images were beautiful and it was easy to jump around from one section to the next based... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A little short and tokyo-centric. good if you are focused on tokyo though.Published 2 months ago by Neku
I have a number of travel guides and books on Japan, I have several language books as well. I've gotten interested in Japanese culture through manga and anime, which while it may... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Courtland J. Carpenter