Beauty and Chaos: Slices and Morsels of Tokyo Life

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9781942410003: Beauty and Chaos: Slices and Morsels of Tokyo Life
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Tokyo--City of Contradictions? Yes and no! The largest city in the world teems with chaotic energy and serene, human-scale beauty. Want to know the real city? Writing about Tokyo for over 15 years, essayist and professor Michael Pronko opens up Tokyo life and reveals what's beneath the gleaming, puzzling exterior of the biggest city in the world. Whether contemplating Tokyo's odd-shaped bonsai houses, endless walls of bottles, pachinko parlors, chopstick ballet or the perilous habit of running for trains, the 45 essays in Beauty and Chaos explore Tokyo from inside to reveal the city's deeper meanings and daily pleasures. In turns comic, philosophic, descriptive and exasperated, Pronko's essays have been popular with Japanese readers for more than a decade.

Essay Topics Include:

  • Waiting to Blossom Cherry Tree Maps
  • The Shout of English T-Shirts
  • Hanging Menus
  • Inside the Smallest Places
  • Standing Libraries
If you're traveling to Tokyo, these essays enlarge the significance and illuminate the contradictions of this fast-paced megalopolis. Part travelogue, part comparative culture, and all creative essay, Beauty and Chaos taps the mysteries of Tokyo and lets the meanings flow.
Japanese version available from KADOKAWA Publishers as: 僕、トーキョーの味方です マイケル・プロンコ
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About the Author:

Pronko writes about Japanese culture, art, jazz, society, architecture and politics for Newsweek Japan, The Japan Times, Artscape Japan, as well as other venues. He has appeared on NHK and Nippon Television and runs his own website, Jazz in Japan (jazzinjapan.com). He teaches American Literature and Culture at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo and after class wanders Tokyo contemplating its intensity. 

Review:

"A rare gem of exploration that holds the ability to sweep readers into a series of vignettes that penetrate the heart of Tokyo's fast-paced world. Very highly recommended." Midwest Book Review 

"A clear-eyed but affectionate portrait of a city that reaches beyond simple stereotypes. An elegantly written, precisely observed portrait of a Japanese city and its culture." Kirkus Reviews

"An exciting book that takes readers on a sightseeing trip of Tokyo, the place, its culture and essence." Readers' Favorite 

"Pronko's notices the kinds of things that might be taken for granted by the Japanese and overlooked entirely by visitors...These pieces feel flowing and natural." The Bookbag 

"For readers interested in Japanese life and culture, or in simply reading a beautiful set of essays of a place you may or may never have been yourself, Beauty and Chaos is a spectacular read." Self-Publishing Review

"Japanese who are used to Tokyo are caught off guard by his conclusions derived from careful observation. Tokyo, the city we are so careless of, suddenly starts to become glorious!" Chunichi Shimbun (review of Japanese version)

“Giving up the bias and seeing the city with completely different standards, you will see the unexpected, attractive face of Tokyo. This book is a guide for rediscovering Tokyo.” Nikkan Gendai (review of Japanese version)

Awards for Beauty and Chaos
Gold Award eLit Awards Essays/Creative Non-Fiction
Silver Award eLit Awards Travel Essay
Gold Award Non-Fiction Author’s Association
Gold Award First Place Reader’s Favorite
Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 Doing Dewey

Awards for Motions and Moments
Gold Award Readers’ Favorite
Gold Award Global E-Book Awards
Gold Award Non-Fiction Author’s Association
Gold Honoree Independent Book Publishers Association
Winner Best Indie Book Award
Silver Medal Independent Publisher Book Awards
Indie Groundbreaking Book by Independent Publisher Book Review
Finalist National Indie Excellence Awards
Finalist Foreword’s Indiefab Book of the Year Awards
Finalist International Book Awards
Finalist Travel Independent Author Network

Awards for Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens
Gold Award eLit Awards Essays/Creative Non-Fiction
Silver Award eLit Awards Travel Essay

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