Book Reviews · Japanese Cuisine

The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook Review: An Excellent Book To Have In Your Kitchen

The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook has loads of amazing recipes for people who want to cook Japanese food at home.

Japanese cooking features some of the most enjoyable ingredients on the planet and an izakaya is one of the best places to enjoy traditional Japanese fare. Famous for a small-plate style of serving, izakayas are a wonderful place to share a meal with friends and family.

The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook, written by Wataru Yokota, takes the reader on a journey through 120 classic izakaya dishes that can be cooked from home. Continue reading “The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook Review: An Excellent Book To Have In Your Kitchen”

Book Reviews

Geishas And The Floating World Review: A Fascinating Read That Separates Myth From Reality

 

Geisha And The Floating World review.

The geisha is one of the most famous images of Japanese culture. Elegant, mysterious and graceful, geisha have connotations with a romantic side of Japan that’s been perpetuated by myths and legends. The truth is a lot more complicated.

Stephen and Ethel Longstreet’s Geishas and The Floating World delves into the myths surrounding geisha and separate fact from fiction. The book charts the rise and fall of the infamous Yoshiwara districts that became a part of The Floating World and women’s roles within it. Continue reading “Geishas And The Floating World Review: A Fascinating Read That Separates Myth From Reality”

Book Reviews

The Power Of Chowa Review: Soulful, Honest And Relatable

The pursuit of finding balance is a life-long goal that’s forever changing. Everyone has different perspectives on what they need to find peace, whether it’s through spending time with friends, or going for a long walk. Author Akemi Tanaka believes the best way to find balance is with chowa, the Japanese concept of harmony.

In her book, The Power Of Chowa, Tanaka tells the story of her life and pulls back the curtain on what it means to walk your own path in Japanese culture. Soulful, honest and powerful, The Power Of Chowa is a book that’s worth reading. Continue reading “The Power Of Chowa Review: Soulful, Honest And Relatable”

Book Reviews

Japanese Tattoos Review: A Book Filled With Beautiful Irezumi

As a fan of tattoos, one of my favourite pastimes is discovering new styles. Irezumi, the art of Japanese tattooing, has always been fascinating to me because of its connotations in Japan. Associated with criminality, irezumi is thought be both shocking and taboo. But outside of Japan, the distinctive style has captivated tattoo enthusiasts and that kind of contrast is intriguing.

Japanese Tattoos, written by Brian Ashcraft and Hori Benny, goes into detail about the history of irezumi and the motifs that make it one of the most beautiful tattoo styles in the world. Continue reading “Japanese Tattoos Review: A Book Filled With Beautiful Irezumi”

Book Reviews

Tokyo Vice Review: A Gripping Tale Of The Yakuza And Japan’s Criminal Underworld

 There’s a romantic side to Japan that’s easy to get swept up in. It’s great to appreciate cherry blossoms, good food and samurai. But there’s also a dark side to the country. Human trafficking, prostitution and ruthless crime families and are all harsh realities that people deal with everyday in Japan.

Much of the corruption is attributed to the yakuza and the role they have in Japanese society. Tokyo Vice, written by Jake Adelstein, gives real insight into the world of the yakuza and Japan’s criminal underbelly. Provocative and gripping, Tokyo Vice is a worthy addition to any Japanophile’s book shelf. Continue reading “Tokyo Vice Review: A Gripping Tale Of The Yakuza And Japan’s Criminal Underworld”

Book Reviews

Japonisme Review: An Inspiring Book That Is Dedicated Towards Promoting Positive Mental Health

Looking after your mental health is important, especially in a fast-paced world that is driven by digital experiences. While everyone has their own mental health coping techniques, it’s good to examine different cultures and gain an appreciation for their practices. Japan has a rich tradition of self-improvement concepts, such as ikigai, which is all about finding a purpose.

Erin Niimi Longhurst’s Japonisme provides insight into the rationale behind ikigai and other Japanese self-improvement techniques. By detailing her own experiences through the lens of her heritage, Longhurst has written a fascinating book that is inspiring from a mental health perspective. Continue reading “Japonisme Review: An Inspiring Book That Is Dedicated Towards Promoting Positive Mental Health”

Book Reviews

Audition Review: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Crazy Woman Scorned

As an author, Ryu Murakami specialises in presenting Japan in a way that few other writers do. His stories combine the seedy underbelly of Japan with the darker side of human nature. One of his most famous works, Audition, became so popular that it was adapted into a film. The novel is a brutal exploration into the psyche of a scorned woman and the hell she can unleash on the men who have wronged her. Continue reading “Audition Review: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Crazy Woman Scorned”

Book Reviews

Sake Confidential Review: A Phenomenal Guide For Novices And Experts Alike

sake confidential review

When it comes to Japanese drinks, sake is perhaps the most recognised alcohol. As simple as it is complex, sake is a beverage of many contradictions, and I didn’t realise how truly interesting the subject was until I picked up John Gauntner’s Sake Confidental: A beyond-the-basics guide to understanding tasting, selection and enjoyment.

Known as the ‘Sake Guy,’ Gauntner is the world’s leading non-Japanese sake educator, and his book is an amazing guide to sake novices (like me), and experts alike. Filled with informative facts and witty anecdotes, this book should be read by anyone who has even a passing interest in Japan. Continue reading “Sake Confidential Review: A Phenomenal Guide For Novices And Experts Alike”

Book Reviews

After Dark Review: The Passage Of Time Is Like A Long Sleep

Haruki Murakami is known for writing surreal fiction, and that can be seen in After Dark. Taking place in a single night, the novel focuses on Eri and Mari Asai. The sisters are vastly different to each other, but are connected by a sense of loneliness. After Dark stirs up a lot of emotions, with Murakami using various techniques to keep the reader guessing what will happen next. Continue reading “After Dark Review: The Passage Of Time Is Like A Long Sleep”

Book Reviews

In The Miso Soup Review: Revealing The Dark Heart Of Japan

Japan is known for its beauty and rich history, but the country has a dark side that isn’t explored as much as it could be. Japan’s seedy underbelly is exposed by Ryu Murakami’s In The Miso Soup, which focuses on the sex trade and Tokyo nightlife. Kenji, a young tour guide, takes an American tourist called Frank on a journey. But Frank is far more sinister than he appears to be and it’s not long before Kenji is dragged into a nightmare he wishes he could escape from. Continue reading “In The Miso Soup Review: Revealing The Dark Heart Of Japan”