The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan

Overview


ALAN BOOTH'S CLASSIC OF MODERN TRAVEL WRITING

Traveling only along small back roads, Alan Booth traversed Japan's entire length on foot, from Soya at the country's northernmost tip, to Cape Sata in the extreme south, across three islands and some 2,000 miles of rural Japan. The Roads to Sata is his wry, witty, inimitable account of that prodigious trek.

Although he was a city person-he was brought up in London and spent most of his adult life ...

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Overview


ALAN BOOTH'S CLASSIC OF MODERN TRAVEL WRITING

Traveling only along small back roads, Alan Booth traversed Japan's entire length on foot, from Soya at the country's northernmost tip, to Cape Sata in the extreme south, across three islands and some 2,000 miles of rural Japan. The Roads to Sata is his wry, witty, inimitable account of that prodigious trek.

Although he was a city person-he was brought up in London and spent most of his adult life in Tokyo - Booth had an extraordinary ability to capture the feel of rural Japan in his writing. Throughout his long and arduous trek, he encountered a variety of people who inhabit the Japanese countryside-from fishermen and soldiers, to bar hostesses and school teachers, to hermits, drunks, and tramps. His wonderful and often hilarious descriptions of these encounters are the highlights of these pages, painting a multifaceted picture of Japan from the perspective of an outsider, but with the knowledge of an insider.

The Roads to Sata is travel writing at its best, illuminating and disarming, poignant yet hilarious, critical but respectful. Traveling across Japan with Alan Booth, readers will enjoy the wit and insight of a uniquely perceptive guide, and more importantly, they will discover a new face of an often misunderstood nation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A marvelous glimpse of the Japan that rarely peeks through the country's public image."-Washington Post Book World

"An illuminating book."-The Economist

"Alan Booth has given us a memorable, oddly beautiful book."-Asian Wall Street Journal

Fluent in the language, well-informed and disabused, [Booth] is in the fine tradition of hard-to-please travelers like Norman Douglas, Evelyn Waugh, and V.S. Naipaul. A sharp eye and a good memory for detail...give an astonishing immediacy to his account."-Frank Tuohy, Times Literary Supplement

"Alan Booth was not only the best travel writer on Japan, but one of the best travel writers in the English language."-Ian Buruma, author of The Wages of Guilt

"[Booth] achieved an extraordinary understanding of life as it is lived by ordinary Japanese....Frequently brilliant in his insights."-F.G. Notehelfer, The New York Times Book Review

"One of the best foreign observers of Japan today...his book is unsurpassed."-Far Eastern Economic Review

"To Travel with Alan Booth is to travel in very civilized company indeed, but also close to the ground. He has a mind that illuminates and enlivens everything it encounters."-Nigel Barley, author of The Innocent Anthropologist

"Booth's capacity for rueful, discerning observation will keep him in the front ranks of travel writers for years to come."-Kirkus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568361871
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

ALAN BOOTH was born in London in 1946 and traveled to Japan in 1970 to study Noh theater. He stayed, working as a writer and film critic, until his untimely death from stomach cancer in 1993. His highly praised Looking for the Lost is also available from Kodansha Globe.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book about the Social Aspect of Japan and one Man's Journey

    I read this book in high school but it had a profound impact on me. It's about a man, Allen Booth, who walks through Japan. Allen is already a scholar of Japanese culture and knows the language well so his ability to ease you into the culture is effortless. He takes time to describe, in beautiful detail, his surroundings often focusing on one subject. Maybe this is an homage to Japanese film making or maybe he just has similar taste for what is beautiful.

    His interaction with the people he sees is always fun. He manages to be interesting in his stories without telling an obvious yarn. He tells you how it is, and that's enough.

    Reading this book inspired me to visit Japan and have my own adventure when I was a sophomore in high school and by my senior year it was planned out and I actually did it. Allen Booth was an inspiration and and incredibly interesting man and I am sad that he had to go before enjoying life to its fullest. I can say, however, that he's done much more than most of us!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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