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The Bells of Old Tokyo: Travels in Japanese Time
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Anna Sherman
The Bells of Old Tokyo: Travels in Japanese Time by Anna Sherman at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Bells of Old Tokyo: Travels in Japanese Time

Anna Sherman



Travel & holiday;
Travel writing;
Places & peoples: pictorial works


240 pages

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In The Bells of Old Tokyo, Anna Sherman explores Japan and revels in all its wonderful particularity. As a foreigner living in Tokyo, Sherman's account takes pleasure and fascination in the history and culture of a country that can seem startlingly strange to an outsider.

Following her search for the lost bells of the city - the bells by which its inhabitants kept time before the Jesuits introduced them to clocks - to her personal friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, here is Tokyo in its bewildering variety. From the love hotels of Shinjuku to the appalling fire-storms of 1945 (in which many more thousands of people died than in Hiroshima or Nagasaki), from the death of Mishima to the impact of the Tohoku earthquake of 2011.

For fans of The Lonely City, and Lost in Translation, The Bells of Old Tokyo is a beautiful and original portrait of Tokyo told through time.

By:   Anna Sherman
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   464g
ISBN:   9781529000467
ISBN 10:   1529000467
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   May 2019
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Anna Sherman was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. She studied Greek and Latin at Wellesley College and Oxford before moving to Tokyo in 2001. The Bells of Old Tokyo is her first book.

An enchanting read, drawing you into Sherman's Tokyo world in a way that makes you wonder why you shouldn't fly there right this minute, with her book as the only guide you'll ever need. -- Xu Xi A tour-de-force mapping, in four dimensions, of the amazing place we call Tokyo. I realized I barely know the city . . . So much is dealt with so beautifully - Mishima, the 1945 firebombs, the tangle that is Shinjuku . . . Wonderful . . . -- Liza Dalby If a more soulful and original book on Japan has been published in the past few years, I haven't seen it. Anna Sherman ventures deep into the land and its silences with an attention to the spaces between words, a lightly worn erudition and a poetic grace - a feel for all that she doesn't have to say - that any of the rest of us might envy. This is the rare book that looks past the zany and clashing surfaces of Japan to excavate its heart, and everything we'll never be able to explain about the place, even as we bow before it. -- Pico Iyer The Bells of Old Tokyo is part personal memoir, part cultural history, but wholly unique. The fragile, fragmentary poetry of its prose so beautifully captures the transience of Tokyo time, the constant cycle of destruction and reconstruction, and the nostalgia for that which has been lost and yet wonder at all that remains to be found. It is the best book I have read about Tokyo written this century, and deserves to take its place alongside the works of Donald Richie, Edward Seidensticker and Paul Waley as one of the great interpretations of this great city. -- David Peace

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