Books and movies on, or related to Japan

Browse and buy the best of Japan Books and Japan Movies

These are a few Japan books and movies that I have enjoyed and/or found useful. Hope you might too!




Memoirs of a Geisha

A very good read, but taken at times with a pinch of salt. Much better than the movie!


Kamikaze Taxi

A typical yakuza movie in many ways but also a commentary on the social changes in Japan after the bursting of the 'bubble economy'. Also contains some great cinematography.



Lonely Planet Japan

A useful guide, especially for the major centres that can be visited.



Postman Blues

One of my very favourites. A mixing of lots of elements with a surprise ending.

Coming soon!


Dave Barry Does Japan

Not a lot of cultural insight but definitely a tome that provides plenty of laughs!



Love Letter

An unusual love story from Shunji Iwai, once again with an unexpected finale.



Rough Guide: Japan

Has a little more depth in certain quarters than the LP Guide above.



Keep your tissues handy for this one. A widowed and workaholic stationmaster in Hokkaido is visited over one night by three different girls. Who are they? Starring the legendary Ken Takakura

Coming soon!



The delightful tale of a young girl growing up in pre-war Japan and her inspirational teacher. A Japanese classic


Mr. Baseball

I laughed a lot watching this before I left for Japan. I laughed even more when I watched it AFTER arriving in Japan.



Snow Country

One of Japan's most well known and well-loved pieces of literature. A good read for anyone heading for the north of the country or those interested in historical fiction


Lost in Translation

Not so much a story about Tokyo (it could be set in any major city) but one of two lost souls. Still an interesting view on some aspects of Japanese culture, especially TV and advertising.


Importing Diversity

I haven't actually read this book but it generally gets good reviews. Would be a useful starting point, along with this, for those thinking about "signing up" for Japan


Heaven's Burning

Not about Japan per se, but stars a very young and feisty Youki Kudoh (Memoirs of a Geisha) as a runaway wife. This low budget Australian production also stars a then virtually unknown Russell Crowe. A good little flick.



This is a semi-autobiographical account of growing up in Japan in the 1960's. It would be Ryu Murakami's best effort by far and one of the funniest books I've ever read.


Grave of the Fireflies

An animated feature set in Hiroshima. It focuses on a young family during the atomic bombing and the days after in their fight to survive. Written by a hibukusha (atomic bomb survivor). Keep your tissues handy!

More to follow - suggestions here please!


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