MotionMoments540x360Motions and Moments is the third book on the fluid feel and vibrant confusions of Tokyo life. These 42 new essays burrow into the unique patterns intense moments of life that suffuse the city and ponder what they mean to its millions of inhabitants.

Based on Pronko’s 18 years living, teaching and writing in Tokyo, these essays on how Tokyoites work, dress, commute, eat and sleep are steeped in insights into the city’s odd structures, intricate pleasures and engaging undertow.

Included are essays on living to size and loving the crowd, on Tokyo’s dizzying uncertainties and daily satisfactions, and on the 2011 earthquake. As in his first two books, this collection captures the ceaseless flow and passing flashes of life in biggest city in the world with gentle humor and rich detail.


Part One: Surfaces
Why Ask Me?
The Language Dance
Urban Speed Poetry
Perfect Outfits
Don’t Drop It!
Cell Screen Tokyo
Public Tightness
Tokyo Asleep

Part Two: Miniatures
Perfect Forms
Fitting Things In
Fitting Me In
Small Item Heaven
Give-Away City
My Toe in Tokyo
What’s in a Name?
Thousand Armed Kannons
Plastic City

Part Three: Constructs
Construction and Resistance
The South Side Theory
Parting the Crowd
Double Construction
Ugliest City in the World?
Cleanliness, Tokyo-ness
Tokyo Symphony
Tokyo 24/7
The Summer Slowing

Part Four: Quaking
Are You OK? (March 18, 2011)
Shaken Up (June 20, 2011)
Earthquake Normal (October 2011)
Is This It? (April 2012)
That Was a Bad One (June 2015)

Part Five: Serenities
Year-End Busy
Learning to Love the Crowd
Tokyo Comfort City
A Meal in the Hand
Tokyo’s Traditional Pauses
Nature People
Jazz in Tokyo
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
Hanami, and Just After
Arigato-s and Gozaimasu-ses





Winner Non-Fiction
Best Indie Book Awards

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Gold Award Reader’s Favorite Awards


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Gold Award for Travel Non-Fiction
Global Ebook Awards


2016 Semi-Finalist “THE KINDLE BOOK REVIEW”

Kindle Book Awards

Finalist “Travel: Guides & Essays”
2016 International
Book Awards


Gold Honoree Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards (Independent Book Publishers Association)

Finalist National Indie Excellence Awards

Silver Medal and Indie Groundbreaking Book IBPA Review



Foreword’s Book of The Year Awards


Gold Award Nonfiction Author’s Association Award


Review from Feathered Quill

Review from Feathered Quill

Motions and Moments is a terrific series of essays that captures the essence and allure of Tokyo with a lot of heart infused in the work. Continue Reading

Review from

Review from

Michael Pronko has a natural talent to spin out words and astute perceptions in concise, steady and refreshing prose wherein every word counts and nothing is extra. One of the joys in reading these essays is that the language is precisely crafted. Continue Reading

Selected as Indie Groundbreaking Book April 2016

Selected as Indie Groundbreaking Book April 2016

The groundbreaking facet of Motions and Moments—and, I presume, the same quality that made his previous two essay collections award winners and reader favorites—is that Pronko takes the sweeping size, bustle, and chaos of Tokyo and makes it small, introspective, and personal. Continue Reading

Review from Reading Other People

Review from Reading Other People

Michael Pronko documents the many moving pieces of Japan’s capital city and sheds key insights and revelations into the ubiquity of Japanese living. Continue Reading

★★★★★ from Doing Dewey

★★★★★ from Doing Dewey

Although I suspect that Michael Pronko’s observations of Tokyo are possible in part because he’s an expat living there, I would be just as happy to read essays he wrote about any country. Continue Reading

★★★★★ from Big Al’s Books and Pals

★★★★★ from Big Al’s Books and Pals

Michael Pronko has that rare voice of one who has lived and studied long enough in an “exotic” environment to get it right, but is still able to present a fresh vision. Continue Reading

Review from The Bookbag

Review from The Bookbag

“The thing to remember, Pronko emphasises, is that Tokyo is never just one thing: generalisations don’t work perfectly; it’s a city of multiple layers, both literally and metaphorically.” Continue Reading

4 out of 4 stars from

4 out of 4 stars from

This book sparkles and succeeds as a love letter of sorts to Tokyo. The author’s writing is a joy to read, with wonderful phrasing and vivid descriptions…As someone who knows very little about Tokyo, I loved this book. As someone who appreciates good writing, I loved this book. Continue Reading

Five-plus stars, Publishers Daily Reviews

Five-plus stars, Publishers Daily Reviews

This is a memoir to be savored like a fine red wine, crafted with supreme care by a man who clearly has fallen in love with his adopted city — and we are the beneficiaries of his lyrical reflections, making us want to visit and absorb the rich megalopolis of Tokyo for ourselves. Continue Reading

Review from Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

Review from Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

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. Continue Reading



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