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Looking for the Lost


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About the Author

ALAN BOOTH was born in London in 1946 and traveled to Japan in 1970 to study Noh theater. He stayed, working as a writer and film critic, until his death from cancer in 1993. His books include The Roads to Sata.


Booth's The Roads to Sata (Weatherhill, 1986), which recounts his impressions and experiences during a 2000-mile walking tour of Japan, is considered a classic of its genre. In the present work, Booth, who died in 1992, offers a sequel. The book is divided into three parts, each involving a journey connected to a famous person or event in Japanese history. The first, entitled "Tsugaru," follows the path taken by the Japanese novelist, Osamu Dazai (1909-48), in a work by the same title; the second, "Saigo's Last March," follows the retreat of the tragic leader of the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion, Saigo Takamori, to his death in his home city of Kagoshima; and the third part, "Looking for the Lost," explores the setting of the 12th-century Japanese classic, The Tale of the Heike. All three episodes contain Booth's customary blend of rich historical and cultural background with fascinating and often humorous anecdotal experience. Recommended for all libraries with an interest in Japan and especially for those owning Booth's earlier work.‘Scott Wright, Univ. of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.

"[Booth] achieved an extraordinary understanding of life as it is lived by ordinary Japanese....Frequently brilliant in his insights."-F.G. Notehelfer, The New York Times Book Review

"Alan Booth was not only the best travel writer on Japan, but one of the best travel writers in the English language. Looking for the Lost is a superb exercise in describing Japan from the point of view of an outsider with the knowledge of an insider."-Ian Buruma, author of The Wages of Guilt

"Booth had a horror of pretension....[He] never fails to produce the whimsical anecdotes that keep the whole account down-to-earth."-Elizabeth ward, Washington Post Book World

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