Written by an American writer on Japanese art and culture who has lived in Tokyo since 1947, this is a survey of Tokyo's architecture, fashions, nightlife and sex industry. Richie takes readers on a tour of some of the districts of Japan's capital city to provide a view of a culture and people rmally hidden from outsiders. Starting from the original centre of Tokyo - the Imperial Palace - the tour branches outwards, encompassing other areas such as Yoshiwara, the original red-light district, and Ginza, the well-kwn shopping street. The author has kept a diary for the entire time during which he has lived in Tokyo, and excerpts from it provide insights into the significance of fashions and fads in the national culture, and various aspects of life in a small neighbourhood. This study of the flavour and idiosyncracies of a chaotic, teeming city includes photographs by a Seattle-based photographer, Joel Sackett.
Donald Richie was born in Ohio and has lived in Tokyo for over 50 years. He is the author of many books including the travel book The Inland Sea and The Image Factory: Fads and Fashions in Japan (Reaktion, 2003).