Read The Japanese Chronicles by Nicolas Bouvier Anne Dickerson Online


Based on three decades of travel throughout Japan, collects the author's recollections and views on life in the Land of the Rising Sun....

Title : The Japanese Chronicles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781562790080
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 225 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Japanese Chronicles Reviews

  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    2019-02-28 09:55

    Part-Japanese history, part-travelogue, part-personal memoir. This was originally written in French under the title "Chronique Japonaise." But the translation is excellent for it succeeds in preserving the breathtaking poetry that the author has shown possible in the act of seeing new places and faces. Passages like this one, for instance:"AT SEIBO HOSPITAL, TOKYO, DECEMBER 1964 TO MARCH 1965"Even when you look through a kinetoscope or magic lantern, you should not kid yourself: the most essential connections are formed beyond the rational mind and are only rarely expressed in books: they are found in the tattoos seen at the beach or the morgue; in the pressure of two hands on a shoulder at the railroad station, fingers that cling--maybe too long--to this warmth and elasticity; in the cards written by soldiers, addressed so indecipherably that they arrive by mistake at the homes of old fools who have never heard anything so tender; in the quietness of two faces sunk deep in a pillow, as if they would like to disappear there; in this rarely satisfied and deeply held desire of the dying to find the end of the maze and something to say; in a window about to open; in the face of a child dissolving in tears, lost in the murmur of a strange language."Courage. We are much closer than we think, but we don't always remember it."Whatever it means, I am sure you'll agree with me: it is beautiful.

  • umberto
    2019-03-12 09:01

    3.5 starsCategorized as ‘Literary travel’ and translated from French by Anne Dickerson, this paperback would be interestingly sentimental due to its reminiscence-like narration to those Japanophiles or travelers who try to recapture those glimpses in their past trips in the Land of the Rising Sun; however, it could be all right for some tourists who read it before visiting there because “this immensely readable compendium of Japanese etiquette, folklore, history, and anecdotes provides a key to understanding the Japanese people, their motivations, and their behavior.” (back cover) I don't mean it as a ready made one, rather it should be taken, that is, read for their background familiarity and intimacy so that they are well-prepared for the real thing with amazement, admiration and wonder while visiting there till they can't help comparing what they see with their countries.From its contents, there are five parts followed by its topics:1: The Magic Lantern (+ 12)2: The Year of the Monkey, 1956 (+3)3: The Pavilion of the Auspicious Cloud, 1964 (+ 2)4: The Village of the Moon, 1965 (+ 1)5: The Island without Memory, 1965-1970 (+ 10)Interestingly, the author has designed a topic of ‘The Gray Notebook’ and used it as an introduction (Kyoto, February 24, 1964 Looking for lodging) and as intermissions (Kyoto, temple of the Ryoan-ji, April 3, 1964; Miyama, Kyoto-fu, 1964; Pages on the road, 1966-1970) but a few don't record any place or date. Moreover, there are 11 black-and white illustrations by the author.

  • Sophie
    2019-03-19 08:48

    J'ai adoré la partie récit de voyages mais j'ai eu plus de mal avec la partie sur l'histoire du Japon, je ne m'y attendais pas et j'ai eu du mal à rentrer dans le livre au départ. Par contre le style précis et "ciselé " de Nicolas Bouvier est un régal.

  • Reid
    2019-03-25 06:13

    Lyrical, poetic writing about his travels as a young man in Japan, living in a Zen temple as a caretaker in Kyoto, working as a young freelance journalist and photographer in Tokyo. He offers a decent sketch of Japanese history from very early days' contact with Korea and China up through the European missionaries, the closing off of Japan to the West, the forced opening by Commodore Perry, the fantastic one-generation of industrialization, the colonization of Korea and China, and finally the humiliating and - to the Japanese - inexplicable defeat at the end of WWII.He also gives a sympathetic and gently humorous portrait of the Japanese character while detailing all the reasons why he loves Japan. I read it on my way from Shanghai to Sapporo, continuing on to the easternmost part of Hokkaido. Was happy to see several of the places now (2013) and compare them to his pictures from 1964 - 66 as well as my other two trips to Japan in 1961 and 2006.I stumbled across this book by reading a preface to someone else's book on travel. The preface was written by William Dalrymple, a favorite of mine in the travel genre, who listed book after book, author after author of travel writers he likes. I ordered every author I could on Kindle (great for us expat travelers who can't stuff our suitcases with a year's worth of reading but can put a year's worth on a "device") and the rest bought used and sent to Joanna's house in Seattle. This turns out to be among the best of these so far.

  • Harald
    2019-03-14 09:02

    Japan er kommet noe i skyggen for Kina de siste årene, men Nicolas Bouvier gir en god innføring i hvorfor Japan er kulturelt viktig og japanerne samtidig et folk som det er vanskelig for folk i Vesten å forstå fullt ut. Første del av boka gir en kort, leseverdig innføring i japansk kulturhistorie. Bouvier framhever de ofte mislykte møtene mellom europeere og japanere fra 1500-tallet fram til 1854 da amerikanerne «åpnet» landet for full vestlig påvirkning, men samtidig åpnet for japansk innflytelse den andre veien.I resten av boka skriver Bouvier om sine egne lange opphold i Japan på 1950- og 1960-tallet. Uten særlig penger selv ble han godt kjent med andre mennesker som måtte klare seg med lite. Men som han selv observerer forandret livet i storbyene Tokyo og Kyoto seg raskt med økende velstand, og det har helt sikkert forandret seg flere ganger siden. Selv om han stort sett skriver positivt, peker han også på at «Det japanske samfunnet er en gapestokk hvor det bare finnes en utvei: oppover». Bare de eldre virker helt frigjorte.

  • DoctorM
    2019-02-27 07:07

    Nicolas Bouvier was one of the finest travel writers of the last century, though a writer overshadowed by the brilliant English wanderers--- Thesiger, Fermor, Robt. Byron, Newby ---who gave us travel lit as a serious genre. The Swiss Bouvier left home in the early 1950s and drove from Belgrade to the Khyber Pass ("The Way of the World") and then moved on to Japan. "Japanese Chronicles" is a lovely, gentle, luminous account of his arrival in Japan in the mid-1950s and his return a decade later. Finely-crafted, entrancing, and with an eye for place and detail. Travel lit about Japan is a favourite genre for me, and Bouvier's little book is a lovely addition.

  • Magdalen Ophelie
    2019-02-25 05:04

    Nicolas Bouvier is a French writer and photograph, who deserves to be known for his travel writings such as Chroniques Japonaises. The reader will not be given tips about places to visit or any touristic advice but something else, something more precious: the experiences and feelings of someone who lived and traveled in Japan in the 60's and 70's. Poetic descriptions, cultural discovery and vivid memories await the patient reader who decides to follow this adventurer on his fascinating journey.

  • David
    2019-03-18 06:45

    Bouvier was a Swiss traveller who visited Japan from the 1960s.As Bill Bryson knows, travel writing is best when the writer is having a boring or horrible time. Fortunately, there's a fair bit of that here. Bumming around Tokyo, a miserable trip to a boring festival that has crap food, not understanding Buddhism. Sadly, it ends with a “my amazing experience in Hokkaido where I was very sensitive when taking photos and buying stuff from Ainu people, unlike all the other tourists” affair.

  • Catherine
    2019-03-07 10:45

    I found this in the travel section, and as I am going to Japan soon I thought it will be good for background reading.I was surprised it read more like a memoir rather then a factual novel, though not disappointed as Nicolas weaves his words together to paint a detailed picture of the country, from it's religious merging with Buddhism to it's more recent rediscovering from USA.Not quite a must read, but certainly enjoyable.

  • Kathleen
    2019-03-19 03:59

    One of my favorite authors (if only I could find a biography, and more of his books in English!) A series of essays and travel diaries written in the 60's as he travelled througout Japan. In both of his books, he travels on very little money, and we see life from the perspective, in this case, of people trying just to survive the post-war period.Facinating writer - highly recommended

  • Carlotta Borasio
    2019-03-10 05:01

    A metà tra il diario di viaggio personale e quella di una civiltà che ne incontra un'altra. Quando gli occidentali sono arrivati in Giappone? Cosa è successo? Qual è la storia dei valore di questo incredibile paese? E poi c'è la storia di Nicolas Bouvier alla scoperta del Giappone. Impressioni, scatti, vite. Alcune riflessioni vale la pena di appuntarsele. Una lettura interessante.

  • Francesca
    2019-03-15 08:45

    Ce livre est très réussi, un bon mélange entre mémoire, récit de voyage et chronique d'histoire japonaise. L'auteur nous amène avec lui dans une découverte culturelle poétique dotée d'une pincé d'ironie qui, avec le style précis, rend la lecture très agréable. J'ai particulièrement apprécié la partie du récit qui nous amène en Hokkaido.

  • AlexLovesBooks
    2019-02-24 10:04

    "Japanese Chronicles" is a lovely, gentle, luminous account of his arrival in Japan in the mid-1950s and his return a decade later. Finely-crafted, entrancing, and with an eye for place and detail. Travel lit about Japan is a favorite genre for me, and Bouvier's little book is a lovely addition.

  • Christie Washam
    2019-02-27 09:03

    Some of his descriptions are enchanting, he certainly has a way with words. I can also see the influence he had on future writers from Crime writers like Isaac Adamson to other traveloggers. One part history, One part environment, one part self-inflection, gently stirred.

  • Verlinel Rockwell
    2019-03-01 08:54

    "Без да съм съзнавал, от години съм чакал тези картини, които ме разтърсваха необяснимо. Слязох от автобуса и останах край пътя почти пиян, главата ми бучеше и едва преглъщах като някой, за когото са направили прекалено много. Продължих пътя си пеша."

  • Arwena_Demonia
    2019-03-08 07:57

    A beautiful about Japan and feelings about the fact this country doesn't seem to have change so much between the time the book was written and now....

  • Michael
    2019-03-01 10:49

    An excellent primer on Japan for anyone who hasn't already read several books about the country. Well-written, it whets your appetite for more.

  • Béatrice
    2019-03-16 04:13

    Vrai style, très agréable