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 essays in Beauty and Chaos explore Tokyo from the inside to reveal its deeper meanings and show why Tokyo is the most amazing, confusing city in the world.
Starting with observations and ending with insights, these essays dig into the ever-present but overlooked slices and morsels of daily life in the world’s biggest city. In turns comic, philosophic, descriptive and exasperated, the essays in this collection won acclaim in Japan from Tokyo readers.
Beneath Tokyo’s perplexing exterior, there’s meaning to the frantic swirl. By untangling the contradictions of the city and opening inner connections, Tokyo emerges a fascinating place of chaotic commotion, but serene, human-scale beauty, too.
If you’re traveling to Tokyo, these essays open up the sense and significance of life in this fast-paced, high-rise megalopolis. If you’ve ever considered going to Tokyo, these essays will give you more reasons to go, and ways to consider the city when you’re there.
Originally published in Japanese, these essays are available in English for the first time. Part travelogue, part comparative culture, and all creative essay, Beauty and Chaos taps the mystery of Tokyo and lets the meanings flow.