Discovering Today's Japan


64 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps
ISBN 0-19-541329-6
DDC j952.04'9




Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is also the
author of The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese Women’s Lives, Kurlek, and
Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Hom


The scope of this large-format paperback is ambitious. The authors aim
at nothing short of a full-scale introduction to contemporary Japan as
they cover climate, family, patterns, clothing, homes, school,
festivals, writing haiku, cities, industry, plant and animal life and
much more. Each of the 29 topics is covered in two pages. Most sections
include imaginative and carefully conceived queries and activities that
should draw young readers into Japanese life. A final chapter on
Japanese Canadians traces the history of the Japanese in Canada and
discusses their achievements here.

Small color photographs and drawings illuminate every page. Together
with the lively text, the illustrations help to bring a very different
culture to life. Photos for the chapter on children’s festivals
include the Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), and the Shichi-Go-San
(“seven-five-three”), where children go to shrines to pray for
health, happiness, and long life. The activity section here features
detailed on making a carp kite. Highly recommended.


Blackstock, Laurie, and Carla Zubot., “Discovering Today's Japan,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,