The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City

The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City

An elegant and absorbing tour of Tokyo and its residents From 1632 until 1854, Japan's rulers restricted contact with foreign countries, a near isolation that fostered a remarkable and unique culture that endures to this day. In hypnotic prose and sensual detail, Anna Sherman describes searching for the great bells by which the inhabitants of Edo, later called Tokyo, kept An elegant and absorbing tour of Tokyo and its residents From 1632 until 1854, Japan's rulers restricted contact wit...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City
Author:Anna Sherman
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:1250206405
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages pages

The Bells of Old Tokyo: Meditations on Time and a City Reviews

  • Laura
    Jul 05, 2019
    What a thoughtful and engaging book - will appeal mostly to people with either an interest in Japan/ Tokyo or those who have lived as expats anywhere. I loved hearing about Anna's experience as an expat and how she developed deep connections during her time in Japan. I haven't been to ...
  • Laurie
    Aug 06, 2019
    Review by Matthew: https://iexaminer.org/a-poetic-and-pe... ...
  • Tobias
    Nov 01, 2019
    I was drawn to this book after reading an excerpt from the "postwar/Ichigaya/Mishima" chapter and it didn't disappoint. Sherman's writing is beautiful and spare. It's an unusual book - part-memoir, part-history, part-travelogue, part-discourse on time and memory - and readers who come ...
  • Barb in Maryland
    Sep 26, 2019
    A basic description of the book (ex-pat woman uses a search for the time bells of old Tokyo to explore the modern city) fails to convey its charm. The prose is clear and thoughtful; the history 'lessons' range over events dating from the earliest days of the city to the earthquake of ...
  • Michaela
    Aug 26, 2019
    Loved how the concept of time can be different culturally. "When the Shoguns ruled Japan, a day had twelve hours. Each hour named after one of the Chinese Zodiac animals. The hour of the Tiger was right before dawn, when journeys began and lovers left each other. And in Edo the hours c...
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    Aug 13, 2019
    A lyrical look at Ol Tokyo the author takes us back in time to the bellringers of Tokyo and to the present a unique lyrical tour of this cuty I hope to visit someday. ...
  • Katja
    Jun 27, 2019
    Ufff, reading this was like wading through tar. I almost dropped it but then I noticed there's almost hundred pages of notes and source material listing, so I thought to skim through a few dozen pages I had left. I wanted to like this, little images of Japanese history sounded interes...
  • Jill S
    Jul 16, 2019
    I really wanted to love this book. I ordered it from the UK before it was even published in Canada because I couldn't wait to read it. But I think it might be my biggest let down of the year. This book is (supposedly) an examination of the cultural changes of Japan framed through th...
  • Dan (aka Utterbiblio)
    Apr 24, 2019
    A very abrupt ending held this back from 5 stars. It's a beautiful meditation on the concept of time and the differences between Eastern and Western attitudes. The travels of Anna through Tokyo make for interesting and eye-opening reading. It's less about the bells than the actual idea...
  • Bethwyn (Butterfly Elephant Books)
    Jun 04, 2019
    DNF @ 25% Just not meshing with the writing style, and there are a few biases coming through that just made me uncomfortable. Not interested in reading more of this one. ...
  • Randi Kennedy
    Aug 15, 2019
    Strange and lovely, with poetry and grace, Sherman endeavors to capture time and a restless city. Great for lovers of philosophy, history, and Japan. ...
  • Esmée
    Jun 13, 2019
    A lovely book about Tokyo and its history. It really made me want to revisit the city and learn more about its past. Sherman does a great job getting you intrigued, but the book felt a little aimless to me as well. It's now a mix between a historical, modern day and memoirish narrative...
  • mattrco
    Dec 09, 2019
    I wanted to finish this book so I could go back and read it again. Stories of timekeeping and the perception of time in historic and present-day Tokyo are told through touching personal histories, interviews and physical exploration of the city. A third of the pages are notes so thi...
  • Lewis Phillips
    Aug 28, 2019
    ?It?s the Age of Mass Forgetting. We live with such a flood of news that we forget what?s real,? Tsuchiya said. ?In a single day, we get ten years? worth of news. To survive, we have to forget things: we forget things we hate. We forget things we love. We forget who we are....
  • Sarah
    Sep 04, 2019
    It was very disjointed and didn?t make a lot of sense. ...
  • Danni Jervis
    Mar 06, 2019
    A wonderful exploration of Tokyo in an unusual manner. The historical context merged with the modern day culture really showcased how it is an ever changing city. The sense of realism that comes from Sherman being treated very much as a Gaijin while she explores is very honest. I'd...
  • Anna
    Nov 19, 2019
    There was a wealth of information in the reference section in the back of the book. It would have been nice if the notes were put in a footnotes or right at the end of each chapter for easier cross-reference. I wasn?t as able to connect the information. ...
  • Jack Wrighton
    May 23, 2019
    This had an almost hypnotic effect on me. The subject is fascinating, and Sherman does an amazing job of tracking her physical (and cerebral) journey through the city. The language is sharp too, there?s not a wasted word in the entire book. Whether you know the city or not I?d high...
  • Thebooktrail
    May 19, 2019
    Visit the locations in the novel A very interesting concept for a book and a guide book to Tokyo. It?s not a novel , guide book or any one of these things, but a mix of many and that?s what so appealing. We travel and discover the land and its people with Anna, who as an o...
  • Amber Sherlock
    Jul 19, 2019
    A fascinating, melodic and winding tale of time and the differences between East and West. soft and mesmerising, Sherman weaves philosophy and anthropology into a fine weave of a book. ...
  • Amanda Lange
    May 10, 2019
    ?The Bells of Old Tokyo? is mesmerizing. Anna Sherman writes in a melodic way that mirrors what she finds in Japan, a blend of philosophy, beauty, dark and light. This is a travelogue that reads more like a philosophical novel and the author moves between the role of archaeologist ...
  • Taylor
    Nov 15, 2019
    A heartfelt, thoughtful, personal meditation on Tokyo?s relationship with time and the author?s relationship with Tokyo. While this book definitely requires at least a working knowledge of Japanese history and culture (and perhaps a map of Tokyo), it is a fascinating and compassion...
  • NoBeatenPath
    Dec 20, 2019
    This book is a very niche topic, but I will admit my interests are very niche so I loved this book. Part travel book, part memoir, part history of Tokyo, Sherman travels around Tokyo looking for the bells that were once used to tell the time in Edo, and uses the journey to explore hist...
  • Gilles Demaneuf
    Sep 05, 2019
    Quite average. ...
  • Keen
    Dec 10, 2019
    This doesn?t take long at all before it descends into a swamp of self-parody, my Clicheometer was flashing red within the first ten pages or so as we ticked every single Japanese stereotype from haikus, Buddhism to weird sexual proclivities and paper cranes. You know those writer...
  • Lindsay Michel
    Nov 26, 2019
    Beautiful, mesmerizing prose, fascinating subject matter, deft handling of very sensitive material... This book is more about atmosphere, about the life & feeling of Tokyo, than about story--to complain that this book defies structure and genre completely misses the point. 5/5, I w...
  • Drew Damron
    Sep 14, 2019
    After living in Japan for about three years and working in a library in Tokyo for two of them, I've read a number of gaijin memoirs. This is the first one that thoughtfully engaged with Tokyo and really represented how it feels to be here. It was poetic, it was research-heavy without b...
  • Alan
    Dec 15, 2019
    'The Myriad Year Clock has six faces. It shows not just the twenty-four hour day of modern time, and the twelve-hour day of Edo time, but the phases of the moon, the twenty-four Japanese seasons and the days of the week. Another dial shows the ancient Chinese system, which combined the...
  • Sarah Naimi
    Jul 03, 2019
    Relatively good book. I learned interesting historical facts about Tokyo and Japan. I liked the idea of traveling in time through bells and clocks. I was a bit disappointed in the structure. There?s no flow to the story, too bad because the fragments of stories she was saying were re...
  • Rebecca Hughes
    Nov 27, 2019
    This is probably the book that has most surprised me this year - I found it utterly gorgeous, compelling, and more than a little melancholy. There are some spectacular musings on the Time; in particular the differing conceptions of it between cultures, and a hefty amount of Japanese hi...