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Hey there! I've decided to continue blogging at a different blog. The MEXT archives and some of my travel posts will remain here, but I'll be moving some stuff over. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 30 April 2012

A Year in Japan by Kate T. Williamson

First reaction: This book so pretty! <3!

A Year in Japan (or 日本の一年 nihon no ichinen) is no ordinary travelogue. It's not in chronological order. It doesn't even tell you the major attractions (in this case, Kyoto) or how Ms Williamson lived and so on. What it is, is a gorgeous book featuring snapshots of life in Japan.

The book consists of mainly hand drawn pictures with some text. Sometimes they're captions and sometimes they're as much as a page (and a page and a half is the longest it gets). It delves into different topics, like moon-viewing, コンビ二conbini foods, book bags, the soy-sauce container in take-out sushi etc. Altogether a very random collection that manages to make you feel as though you were in Japan.

Some of the pictures take up two pages. And all of them are in colour, so you can go (*_*) like I did throughout the whole book. Since it was an interest in sock design that took her to Japan, you can be assured that all the pictures are very lovely drawn(:

The only thing that annoyed me about the book was the choice of font. The font was basically one of those handwriting styles (although this really could be her actual handwriting), and I had some difficulty reading it. Then again, I can barely read my own handwriting (now is a good time to pity salute my teachers who read all eight pages of my handwriting every exam/essay). But it was, on the whole, readable, and besides, the amount of text wasn't that much anyway.

And yes, if you're wondering, since she was living in Kyoto, the book does have some things about Geisha's. There's a short passage about a lunch with a geisha and a very interesting picture (two actually) or a geisha and a maiko, with some explanation of the difference between the two.

So even if you're in Japan, you should by this book. It's not "another guide", it's a very pretty book about Japan. And if you can't get to Japan yet, buy this book.


  1. The cover is gorgeous, and you make it sound very interesting. I like the choice to deviate from the standard attractions.

    1. Thanks! The whole book is as gorgeous as the cover(:



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