November 14, 2011

Books (and more) about Japan

One of my new blogger friends, Mary, asked me for some reading recommendations. In this post, I have put some of the ones I have in English. The rest are in Russian, which is pretty useless for this purpose.

Also, to help this post avoid being dry, in the end, you`ll see something more.


  1. The food looks yummy but I am not sure about the ice cream. When we were in Tokyo we had some ice cream – they even had Baskin Robbins there – but we tried local flavors. One tasted like baked bean and the other had a little fishy-mustardy taste – but they looked good.

  2. Loved the books and the food made me hungry for a yummy chicken teriyaki bento box or a delicious shrimp tempura sushi roll.

  3. Oh I love Japanese food especially sushi and sukiyaki... delish! And of course the tempura... I mean I can eat a lot of prawns...a fave.

  4. I love HOKUSAI's "estampes"...
    Greetings from France,


  5. What a great post Olga: Food for the mind, and food for the tummy! ;-) Would not mind trying a little bit of both ;-) -- Veronique

  6. These books are surely more appropriate for today's Japan than reading my favorites on Japan: James Clavell's Shogun and Shusaku Endo's Silence.

  7. I´m always interested in the Japanese culture, I hope I can find some of these books in Sweden. :-)

  8. Tu nous entraînes au pays du soleil levant d'une manière bien agréable.
    Merci Olga, et bonne journée!

  9. Dear Olga ... What a wonderful post! I don't know how to thank you for the wonderful gift.
    Saturday I'll go to the library to search for books .... I hope to find someone.
    thanks again

  10. Hello Olga:
    We are ashamed that our knowledge of Japan is so limited. It is such a fascinating country and a friend who visited recently certainly made us aware of how particular the Japanese are about presentation and beauty in what they wear and what they eat.

    'A Geek in Japan' sounds like the perfect introduction for us. Japan seems to be such an eclectic mix and clash of ancient traditions and modern technologies, an intriguing and beguiling combination.

  11. I hpe to go to Japan before too long and so I'm going to get "A geek in Japan"> Have you read "Wrong about Japan"? Fantastic

    I find it hard to cope with Japanese food, so the pictures of food did not grab me, I think I might be allergic to some popular ingredients.

  12. WAAH! I'm hungry now, looking at all that lovely food! I want some decent Japanese food, not imitation industrial muck!!

  13. The details are everything. Nice examples, AND mouthwatering dishes.

  14. Food and books, how can one go wrong?

  15. Hello Olga,
    Very, very beautiful pictures!

  16. I'm a bit of a Japanophile, history be damned. (My family is Korean).

  17. Golly those pictures made me extremely hungry for Japanese food! Yummmmmy! =) This is another post I need to pass on!

  18. The chinese food is interesting and i like it!
    What is that on the last picture?

  19. I have read the book and saw the movie Geisha. I loved it. Japanese culture is very interesting!

  20. Hi Vagabonde,
    You're so lucky that you visited Tokyo. It must have been an incredible trip. One of the ice cream flavours is green tea - one of my favourites of all time. The other one is sesame flavoured - let's say it's interesting :)

    Hi Angela,
    After a long duration of researching Japanese restaurants in Toronto - and sampling Japanese food - the things you see in front of you are from my favourite restaurants, and are incredibly delicious. I'm teasing you a little :)

    Hi Ann,
    When I look at these photos, I myself feel the appetite coming on. I think I'll stop at six prawns :)

    Hi Pierre,
    Hokusai is one of my favourite Japanese artists. I never get tired of looking at his art :)

    Hi Veronique,
    We have many restaurants with Japanese food, which really belong to Chinese owners. This is what Noriko told me :) I think I'd be surprised if I tried authentic Japanese food.

  21. Hi Pet,
    I am very grateful for sharing these names. Don't doubt me for a second - I am definitely going to read these books :)

    Hi Wong,
    I could have sushi any day :)

    Hi tinajo,
    You'll probably laugh, but I think you would look really good in the middle of a Japanese landscape, maybe with Mount Fuji behind you :)

    Hi Richard,
    Merci pour le compliment. Chaque fois que je visite votre blog, je souris pour le reste de la journée:)

    Hi Mary,
    I'll be glad if you enjoy any of my suggested books.

  22. Hi Jane and Lance Hattatt,
    As with any culture, there are many books written about Japanese culture. However, sometimes you don't want to read about another cliche; you'd rather read about an original point of view.

    Hi Jenny,
    We must have many wrong impressions about a culture where we never lived, but it's still very interesting to learn something new about other cultures. Thank you for the book suggestion :)

    Hi Sarah,
    We have only managed to find decent Japanese food in our city through the method of trying many different places :)

    Hi Rick,
    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm sure there's some delicious Japanese food where you live :)

    Hi lilylovekin,
    Ever since I started blogging, I have so much more personal information from other bloggers on the subject of food, books, and other things that can enrich our experiences.

  23. Hi Antonio,
    Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed my post. Thank you for visiting :)

    Hi Lydia,
    I understand what you's similar to the way Russians still love Bavarian beer :)

    Hi Sandy,
    I like being able to become immersed in different cultures and cuisines by living in Canada - whenever I have the time and opportunity.

    Hi Fabio,
    The last pictures are of two types of ice cream - one is green tea flavoured, and the other is sesame flavoured. I prefer the first one :)

    Hi Laura.M,
    The movie Geisha is quite beautiful. I have also read that book :)

  24. I love japanese food. I have the avocado, sticky rice,carrots, salmon, etc.. needed to make sushi but keep forgetting to get the sea weed lol
    I love origami and the stamping on material. I have also seen the movie Geisha.
    Great post !

  25. A beautiful, visual post dear Olga. The book covers look so lovely and inviting, so too the food and the origami.
    xoxoxo ♡

  26. I love those food shots. I'm starving now! I must admit, I don't know much about Japan's history, and I'd like to learn more.

  27. Ольга, из Мураками я прочитала только Сороку-воровку из трилогии Хроники заводной птицы. Никак не соберусь взяться за остальные:) Не считая Басе, это вся японская литература, прочитанная мной. А с японской кухней и вовсе не знакома. Хотя на твоих фото, она выглядит очень аппетитно!:) Мне показалось, что на последнем фото - мороженое. Это так? Левое - фисташковое? А правое, серенькое - какое?:)

  28. Мне тоже интересно что за серенькое мороженое?

  29. I still remember seeing Hokusai's work for the first time. It was in a book about drawing :) Thanks to Google, I managed to find it now:

    I was really impressed. I haven't seen this drawing for many-many years, yet I remembered pine needles and donkey good enough. So for me Hokusai is in the first place the one who drew that cute donkey :) Though I'm now familiar with his other works, of course.

  30. A wonderful post.....stunning images!


  31. Hi A Lady`s Life,
    In reality, you actually had just about all the necessary ingredients to make sushi :) It`s wonderful how many amazing paper crafts appear in Japanese culture - it seems like such a simple material.

    Hi Dianne,
    Japanese culture is a whole new world for me. Of course, I must idealize it to some extent. But it gives me many interesting things.

    Hi Talli,
    If you are starving right now, you must know how delicious it is!

    Hi Tisa,
    Погоня за овцой! Самая моя любимая его книга. Я читала её на берегу океана на Кубе и всё время озиралась - как, я разве не в Японии ?
    На последнем фото - мороженое. Зелёное - зелёный чай. Серое - чёрный сезам. Первое - любимое, если есть в правильном месте, сделанное в ручную. Второе больше никогда не закажу. Очень странное. Текстура странная. На первом фото жаренный угорь. Вкуснотища. Подаётся с рамен. Рамен - лапша всякая разная, очень народное блюдо. Только не начинай осваивать японскую кухню где попало. Ищи место с японцами, по возможности. Даже те же суши вроде то, да не то, если кто другой гоовит.

    Hi Елена,
    Спасибо за визит. Серое мороженое - чёрный сезам. Я всегда про зелёное думаю - хе,хе, сейчас поем моего любимого. А вот сезамное больше не закажу. Текстура странная.

  32. Hi Etakerina,
    Can you imagine - I even held a real Hokusai in my hands while working in an art gallery :P I think he`s not the only one who has such an affectionate and humorous attitude towards animals in his artwork - I noticed the same thing with many artists.

    Hi Trevor,
    Thank you very much for your visit. I`m glad you enjoyed the images. They were made quite spontaneously.

  33. Спасибо, Оля. Книгу "Охота на овец" (у нас она так называется) читал один мой бывший молодой сотрудник. Когда я попросила почитать, он мне сказал: это не для вас, это для студентов:)) Оля, и еще один вопрос. "Охота..." - третья книга из "Трилогии крысы", нужно читать все три попорядку или у них разные сюжеты и можно отдельно-независимо?
    Про еду так вкусно написано! Во Львове открылось уже три японских ресторана, но ни в одном не была А, возможно, один из них китайский. Надо узнать, кто там руководит процессом:)) Еще раз большое спасибо!

  34. Hi Tisa,
    "Охота на овец" и правда, детская. Так же как и Элегантность ёжика или Вудхаус. Но я люблю такую литературу. Единственное что - я на русском её не читала. Поэтому я даже не знаю хороший там перевод или так себе. Когда уже начинаешь наслаждаться стилем, а не только следить за сюжетом, то всё в другом виде предстаёт.
    Книги из трилогии вполне можно отдельно читать. Я ужасно боюсь давать любые советы. Может ведь, быть абсолютно другое мение или, например, моё мнение изменится со временем. И ещё, я не чувствую слов, когда я их пишу и гиперсильно чувствую их, когда читаю. Сама понимаешь - мы чукчи (художники).
    Я тебя очень соблазняю читать на английском.
    Я это ещё сильнее осознала, когда Ёжика прочитала. Чувство появилось, что на французском я бы большее удовольствие получила. С покупкой дома, фр. пока отложен у меня в долгий ящик.
    Ты не представляешь себе какая Джейн Остин в оригинале - лакомство. Соблазнила?

  35. Оля, меня легко соблазнить, но сначала надо выучить английский до такой степени, чтоб книги в оригинале читать. А еще мне понравились твои слова про чувство слова. Я думала, что во мне что-то не так, потому что мне тоже лучше прочитать, чем сказать. Я думаю, ты меня понимаешь:)

  36. You have presented a slice of Japan here in a very unique way Olga. Well done X

  37. Hi Tisa
    Я тебя прнимаю очень даже хорошо, потому что слова не чувствую ни в русском, ни в английском. Посему часто попадаю впросак :)

    Hi Dolly,
    Thank you. Do you like Japanese food :)?

  38. Lovely pictures from Japan!Lovely ice cream!congratulations Olga! kisses.