Our passports might not open many doors these days, but we still can travel in our dreams.
Japan is my favorite place to travel — especially rural Japan — so I’m delighted to be part of Inaka: Portraits of Life in Rural Japan! This collection includes my essay “Unexpected retreat” (you might recognize some of the characters … ) plus the work of other writers I’ve enjoyed and whose books live on my shelf.
From the Camphor Press catalog:
“Inaka: Portraits of Life in Rural Japan is an affectionate but unsentimental taste of authentic rural living: inconvenient superstitions, the tough realities of training to be a Buddhist monk, the mystery of an abandoned shrine, an ancient pilgrimage given new life, fishermen’s tales, cycling adventures, examples of rural revitalization in tea farm tourism and the indigo dyeing industry, hypothermia-inducing housing, and friendly neighbors sharing old customs and local histories.
“The Japanese word for the countryside, inaka, carries a slightly pejorative meaning of “the sticks,” of being far from culture and amenities; and inaka is applied not only to truly rural areas but also to small towns and cities away from metropolitan areas. Likewise, Inaka: Portraits of Life in Rural Japan includes a look at small-town life and areas in the urban–rural zone of interaction rather than only purely remote settings; a messy mix of city and country is much more representative than hermits hiding in the wilderness.
“A combination of brilliant, experienced writers and fresh young talent makes Inaka a delight to read, and an absolute must for anyone interested in life outside the crowded Japanese cities.”
Looking for The Same Moon?
Info on my memoir of running far, far away — to rural Japan — to find my way home is available on the Same Moon page.