Author: Varley, Paul; Paul Varley is emeritus professor at Columbia University and Sen Soshitsu XV Professor of Japanese Cultural History at the University of Hawai'i.
Though many books on Japanese culture have appeared in recent
years, none has yet matched Varley's for the combined breadth and
depth of detail and for his skill at conjuring up the zeitgeist of
each period of Japanese history.- New Zealand Journal of Asian
""This is a masterpiece of much in little space. It neatly surveys over 2,000 years of the arts, religion, and cultural peculiarities (e.g., the tea ceremony) of one of the most cultivated of nations. It leaves virtually no major individual, religious sect, genre and style of visual art, form of literary expression, variety of theater, or influence of extra-Japanese origin unconsidered. It nonetheless admirably retains its focus, ignoring the temptation to relate history that doesn't impinge on cultural developments. What's more, Varley writes superbly lucid prose. . . . A superior one-volume introduction to Japanese culture.""- Booklist