From the metropolitan bustle of busy, modern Tokyo to the serenity of classical Kyoto, from the northern frontier land of snowy Hokkaido to distinctly colorful Kyushu and Okinawa in the southwest, Japan is a country of striking contrasts and frequent contradictions-geisha and baseball, the Kabuki theater and oil refineries, skyscrapers of steel and glass, landscape gardens of sand and rock. The blend of the ancient and the contemporary is unique and fascinating. Here in one volume are all the beauty and vitality of a nation whose recorded history reaches back nearly two thousand years, a nation that has progressed in little more than a century from self-imposed isolation to a place of prominence among the nations of the world. Facts-historical, geographic, cultural and economic-are wedded In a definitive combination to extraordinary pictures by some of Japan's leading photographers. This book provides, in addition to the incisive text and captions written by Donald Richie, an informative foreword by the late Edwin O. Reischauer. For the general reader, for those who have visited these islands, and for those who are unfamiliar with them, this is a superbly well-rounded introduction.Reischauer, Edwin O. is the author of 'Introducing Japan' with ISBN 9784770017918 and ISBN 477001791X.