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Japan from Anime to Zen


Publish Date


# of Pages



5.25 x 8"

Price (Print/Ebook)






Japan from Anime to Zen

Quick Takes on Culture, Art, History, Food . . . and More

An accessible compendium of the most important aspects of Japanese arts, culture and history, for quick reference or a longer, in-depth read, for actual and armchair travelers alike.

This friendly guide offers concise but detailed demystifications of more than 85 aspects of ancient and modern Japan. 

It can be read in sequence, or just dipped into, depending on the moment’s need. Explanations go much deeper than a typical travel guide and cover 1,500 years of history and culture, everything from geisha to gangsters, haiku to karaoke, the sun goddess to the shogunate . . . and anime to Zen.

“A deep-dive into the traditions and cultural, historical, and social context of Japan. Japan from Anime to Zen has much more to offer than your average cultural guidebook.”


"To those looking to take their first trip to Japan, or maybe left pondering many of the nuances of the nation’s culture on their return, the sheer expansiveness in scope of the book makes it an ideal travel companion."

The Japan Society UK Review

"Japan from Anime to Zen brings readers a wealth of interesting and relevant information covering a broad variety of topics with an impressive amount of detail. I learned a lot!"

Abby Denson, Cool Japan Guide

"This is truly a book about Japan from A to Z. David Barton offers deep insight into Japanese culture, history, and language to show what makes Japan so endlessly fascinating. An excellent achievement!"

Yoji Yamakuse, author of Japaneseness

"Neatly organized and easy to browse, with a good level of information and helpful details not found in other, similar books.”

Gilles Poitras, author of Tokyo Stroll

Books sold at

Barnes and Noble
Barnes &  Noble

E-Books sold at


About the Author(s)

David Watts Barton

David Watts Barton

David Watts Barton is a Berlin-based, award-winning freelance journalist who has covered popular music, culture, religion, travel and other topics for 40 years, in newspapers and magazines, on radio and online.

Yuko Nagasaki

Yuko Nagasaki

Yuko Nagasaki is a Tokyo-based freelance illustrator. 

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