From the Stone Bridge family to yours, we'd like to wish you the happiest of holidays and all the best in the coming New Year. We're endlessly grateful for your support and thankful for the opportunity to continue publishing the books we love so much. Below is a roundup of all the titles we had the honor of publishing this year.
Be well and stay safe. 気を付けて！
Stone Bridge Press
Tokyo Junkie: 60 Years of Bright Lights and Back Alleys...and Baseball By Robert Whiting Tokyo Junkie is a memoir that plays out over the dramatic 60-year growth of the megacity Tokyo, once a dark, fetid backwater and now the most populous, sophisticated, and safe urban capital in the world.
Follow author Robert Whiting (The Chrysanthemum and the Bat, You Gotta Have Wa, Tokyo Underworld) as he watches Tokyo transform during the 1964 Olympics, rubs shoulders with the Yakuza and comes face to face with the city’s dark underbelly, interviews Japan’s baseball elite after publishing his first best-selling book on the subject, and learns how politics and sports collide to produce a cultural landscape unlike any other, even as a new Olympics is postponed and the COVID virus ravages the nation.
By Winifred Bird, Illustrated by Paul Poynter
From bracken to butterbur to "princess" bamboo, some of Japan's most iconic foods are foraged, not grown, in its forests, fields, and coastal waters--yet most Westerners have never heard of them.
In this book, journalist Winifred Bird eats her way from one end of the country to the other in search of the hidden stories of Japan's wild foods, the people who pick them, and the places whose histories they've shaped.
Basho's Haiku Journeys By Freeman Ng, Illustrated by Cassandra Rockwood Ghanem The seventeenth-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho practically invented the haiku. He's most famous for his travel journals. But how did he come to be such a traveler in the first place? This delightful volume—composed entirely in haiku based on the poet's written travelogues and illustrated with vibrant hand-painted scenes—tells the true story of Basho's decision to abandon his comfortable city life and of the five great journeys he then took across the length and breadth of Japan.
Japan from Anime to Zen: Quick Takes on Culture, Art, History, Food...and More By David Watts Barton
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.
The Minamata Story: An EcoTragedy By Sean Michael Wilson, Illustrated by Akiko Shimojima
A powerful graphic novel /manga that tells the story of "Minamata disease," a debilitating and sometimes fatal condition caused by the Chisso chemical factory's careless release of methylmercury into the waters of the coastal community of Minamata in southern Japan. First identified in 1956, it became a hot topic in Japan in the 1970s and 80s, growing into an iconic struggle between people versus corporations and government agencies. This struggle is relevant today, not simply because many people are still living with the disease but also because, in this time of growing concern over the safety of our environment--viz. Flint, Michigan--Minamata gives us as a very moving example of such human-caused environmental disasters and what we can do about them.
Yamamba: In Search of the Japanese Mountain Witch Edited by Rebecca Copeland and Linda C. Ehrlich
Alluring, nurturing, dangerous, and vulnerable the yamamba, or Japanese mountain witch, has intrigued audiences for centuries. What is it about the fusion of mountains with the solitary old woman that produces such an enigmatic figure? And why does she still call to us in this modern, scientific era? Co-editors Rebecca Copeland and Linda C. Ehrlich first met the yamamba in the powerful short story “The Smile of the Mountain Witch” by acclaimed woman writer Ōba Minako. The story revealed the compelling way creative women can take charge of misogynistic tropes, invert them, and use them to tell new stories of female empowerment.