Experts Tell Us the Best Books On Japanese Culture

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This article showcases our top picks for the Best Books On Japanese Culture. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

The Japanese: A History in Twenty Lives by Christopher Harding

This product was recommended by Erik Pham from Health Canal

One of the best ways to engross yourself in another culture is to read up on the lives of different people and this is exactly why I recommend this book if you want to learn more about Japanese culture. Experience the hardships, the success, and the challenges of over 20 different people from different walks of life in Japan. It will help open your eyes to all the wonderful things about their culture as well as the dull and troublesome things about it. Reading this book helped me understand that just like with other cultures Japanese culture has its ups and downs. When you see a pretty rainbow most people don’t know that a strong and heavy storm caused it and it’s this eye-opening experience that you will get when reading the lives of the people in this book.

What Is Japanese Cinema? by Yomota Inuhiko

This product was recommended by Daniel Hess from To Tony Productions

It provides such a great overview on the rich history of Japanese film from the very beginning to where it is currently and is a must read for anyone who has a love for Japanese cinema. I wanted to take the time to recommend this book as I have personally read through it and loved it so the recommendation comes easy. As a filmmaker I think it is important to look at the film work of all cultures to learn from.

Pure Invention by Matt Alt

This product was recommended by Todd from RideFAQs

If you grew up on anime, manga and Hello Kitty, this book is for you. It not only covers the popular aspects of Japan’s culture but dives deeper into the economic and political perspective for those who would like to understand how Japan shaped up as a country. There’s a phenomenal amount of research in this elegantly written book and if you have to read just one book to figure out Japan’s then and now, this is it.

Japan-Anime-Zen-Culture-History by David Watts Barton

This product was recommended by Harriet Chan from CocoFinder

This book has a complete compilation of Japanese culture. It talks about their ancient practices in depth. The author has discussed 85 aspects of ancient and modern Japan. I was inspired by the Japanese culture, and their transitions like geisha to gangsters, haiku to karaoke, the sun goddess to the shogunate and anime to Zen were overwhelming.

A History of Japan by K. Henshall

This product was recommended by Lynda Fairly from Numlooker

This book is an account of Japan’s long-time journey from its early beginnings in the stone age to the modern day with fascinating details and top-notch illustrations, giving readers a comprehensive view of the key events that shaped Japan, covering topics such as imperialism, technology, World War II and much more. It tells about the rich culture, traditions, rituals, festivals and holidays of this beautiful country. It can arguably be one of the best books on Japanese culture, which contains an interesting collection of tales, mythologies, and religious beliefs. This book is an excellent reading for people who are interested in learning more about historical aspects of Japan.

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