geek in japan is a book written by hector garcia and endorsed by japanophile and oracle ceo larry ellison as fascinating. i recommend this comprehensive tour of japanese culture, history and society for both the beginners and the advanced.

geek in japan geek in japan geek in japan geek in japan

hector is also the author of a world class blog one of the on japan and its ways. browse it because it’s a great source of japan-related info. i would have loved to know about it before i first went to japan.

if you are wondering what are the topics covered, i picked up the most important ones.

  • the samurai code  – bushido – and its surprising effect on present day japan
  • the intricacies of the japanese language
  • the specifically japanese concepts
  • religion: buddhism, shintoism and confucianism
  • the japanese arts: cha do (tea ceremony), sho do (caligraphy), ikebana, kabuku, martial arts
  • hanne – what you want to do, tatemae – what you have to do
  • the greater good
  • the tribes (the fashion cults, the yakuza, the salary men, the otaku, etc.)
  • cool japan: manga, anime, music, tv and movies
  • sakura, lucky cat, pachinko, onsen, geishas
  • workplace culture and manners
  • technology, science and robotics
  • food (ramen, tempura, sushi, yakitori) and drinks (sake, awomori, shochu)
  • thorough advice for travelers: first, tokyo per districts and then, the entire country
  • and a selection of essentials and secret places. i loved the secret places! i have only visited one of them – the ghibli museum in tokyo. i’m planning to check out rest and put some of them on my to-do list for the future trip.

you must read this detailed introduction in the multi-layered japanese world. i promise you will enjoy it!

the book is currently available at a great price.

photo credits: tuttle publishing