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Book: Motions and Moments - More Essays on Tokyo by Michael Pronko

Book: Motions and Moments - More Essays on Tokyo by Michael Pronko

categories: Book, Travel, Culture, Travel Essays, Japan, Asia, Memoir, Cities, Nonfiction, Guide, Tokyo


Michael Pronko

Author Michael Pronkoabout this book: This book is about the biggest city in the world. It offers insights into how Tokyoites live and what the culture is like here. I wrote this book originally as essays for Newsweek Japan, and collected them. The original readers of the essays were Japanese, intrigued by what a foreigner thought of their city, but the primary readers of this collection, rewritten for non-Japanese, are readers interested in Asia, Japan and Tokyo in particular. One review noted that: "More so than almost any other treatment, it captures the nuances Westerners find puzzling about Japan and translates them into digestible, vivid insights no visitor should be without." (D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review). I wanted the many visitors, as well as those interested in Tokyo, to understand the life, culture and values of this amazing city. The essays were written over the course of five years, from just before the huge earthquake in 2011 (essays on the earthquake are included), until 2015. The title captures the focus of the essays, which include the sense of constant motion and the fleeting moments of intense experience. In that sense, the essays have a certain Zen feel to them. The essays come out of my daily experience living and working in Tokyo. I wanted to write about the energy of daily life in Tokyo with a sense of humor, acceptance, and occasional confusion. Tokyo also fits uniquely into essay form, I feel, and as one reviewer, Stephanie Chandler of SPR Review said, "Pronko merits being thought of as the Anthropologist of Tokyo. And, without exaggeration, he also deserves the title of Montaigne of Tokyo."

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