A Dry look at an Exciting Country – “Japan: It’s History and Culture” by W. Scott Morton & J. Kenneth Olenik
If that doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation to you, it’s because it’s not.
Though I’m always interested in different countries and history, I – like many people – have a hard time digesting dry information, which this book is mostly made up of. I’m not saying I need colorful pictures and whiz-bang jokes every other line, but throw your readers a bone, dude.
Japan is an awesome country with a vivid and fascinating history, so why did I start zoning out whenever I would try and read a chapter of this book? I have no doubt that Morton and Olenik are the experts on this subject matter (I’m practically positive this book actually does get used in college classes), but I kept putting the book down and practically groaning when I had to pick it up again.
Now, if you’re preparing for a test or heading to Japan or (for some other reason) trying to cram as much of Japan’s rich – and interesting – history into your head, this book is absolutely what you should be reading. It’s not terribly long, and it covers the entire history of Japan up to modern times.
Like I said, if you need info – check this one out. If you’re just interested in learning casually about Japan, which I was, you might want to look elsewhere. Perhaps you’d do better with a Lonely Planet guide, which I always find to be jam-packed with information while still remaining a good read.