Book Review: Japan Unveiled

Author: Dominique Buisson

Isbn # 1844300285

Publisher: Hachette Illustrated UK (December 2003)

I came across this book at an anime convention a couple of years back and snagged it for cheap since the guy was just wanting to get rid of it.  It is a nice, large, hardbound coffee table style book with many wonderful full color photos.  There is a lot of fairly detailed information in this book concerning body culture in Japan with a nice chunk dedicated to kimono! Also included in the back is a glossary of terms that was helpful since the author uses many Japanese words through out the book to describe things.  There is also one page of ideograms for some common words/terms.

Opinion: I enjoyed reading through this book very much and while the information about kimono was pretty standard it would be very informative for someone just getting into the hobby.  The other sections about how the Japanese as a culture tend to view the body was fascinating and combined with the photos made for a vibrant read.  I feel like this book really covers a lot including such chapters as ‘The Social Body’, ‘The Performing Body’ & ‘The Body In Death’ taking into account all aspects of Japanese culture from the school setting to the theater.

I would recomend this book:

for someone who is interested in why Japan, socially and culturally is so different from the West

someone looking for big, detailed photos of Japanese people, culture and customs

I would not recomend this book:

for someone who is only interested in learning more about kimono and kitsuke

for those opposed to nudity (there are a few theatrical nude shots)

For me this is definitely a book worth having on my shelf as I can go back to it again and again and look through the wonderful photos.

About reddelilah

I am an LMT by day and a Kimono and Geisha lover full time.
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