Soul of Japan – Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan

I read this book when I visited Kyoto in early April 2019 for a legal conference and to see the sakura. If you are reading this book now on your travels to the three regions covered by this book you will indeed be “Looking for the Lost”. This is because the journeys here were made around 1990s.

The first journey to the Tsugaro region of the northern tip of Honshu Island was in the footsteps of a famous writer Dazai Osamu who traversed Tsugaro in 1944. {p 10}.

The second journey was to Kyushu in the footsteps of Saigo Takamori who commanded the loyalist army against the supporters of the Shogun and defeated them. He was one of the prime movers in the eventual restoration of power to the Meiji Emperor in 1868 {p 153}

The third journey was to the southwestern tip of Honshu Island to trace the dispersal of the Heike clan after their defeat by the Genji clan in 1185, immortalised in The Tale of the Heike. {p 293}

If you are interested in travel literature this book will interest you. Booth interspersed his walks with descriptions of his conversations with the locals.

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