Sunday, November 4, 2007  12:09 PM

Books on Japan available as PDF

Following an extended random surfing session, I came across these two books on Japan-related themes available for free download in PDF format:

  • Japan in a Nutshell by "Professor Salomon": an easy-to-read guide (in a slightly flippant way) to All Things Japanese, ranging from its ancient myths to using an ofuro (Japanese bathtub). Maybe not essential reading if you've spent a lot of time in Japan, but maybe useful a nice introduction.
  • The Wise Bamboo by Joe Fitz-Morris: the memoirs of a GI who ended up running the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in 1945. Lots of anecdotes about life in the upper echelons of Occupied Japan. Available for download here (PDF, about 13MB); the book has been scanned as graphics, and a few pages are missing.

Disclaimer: I've only scanned through both and haven't read them in any detail. I'm putting them on my laptop for light reading for those in-between occasions, such as hanging around in an airport.

Added: The Foundations of Japan by J.W. Robertson Scott. Dating from 1922 and subtitled "Notes Made During Journeys Of 6,000 Miles In The Rural Districts As A Basis For A Sounder Knowledge Of The Japanese People". Note: in plain text format (not PDF) from Project Gutenberg.