This collection guides the reader through the complexity that is Japan. Although frequently misunderstood as a homogenous nation, Japan is a land of tremendous linguistic, geographical, and cultural diversity. Hino Keizo leads the reader through Tokyo's mazes in "Jacob's Tokyo Ladder." Tada Chimako explores the modern-day ghosts of Kobe. Asada Jiro guides us across the rural, snowy expanses of Hokkaido. Atoda Takashi takes us to Kyoto to follow the mystery of a pair of shoes and discover the death of a stranger. The stories, like the country and the people, are beautiful and compelling. Let these literary masters be your guide-from the beauty of northern Hokkaido through the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, to the many temples in Kyoto, through Osaka, and the coastline of the Sea of Japan, and down to southern Kyushu-to a Japan that only the finest stories can reveal. One of the world's foremost authorities on modern Japan and its culture, Donald Richie has lived in Japan since 1947. He has written extensively, including "Japanese Literature Reviewed," his travelogue "The Inland Sea," and the recently released "Japan Journals: 1947-2004," Jeffrey Angles is head of the Japanese language program at Western Michigan University. His translations have appeared in "The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature," "Critical Asian Studies," and numerous other journals. Thomas Rimer, Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at the University of Pittsburgh, has translated and written commentaries on Japanese literature from both the classical and modern periods. His latest publication is "The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature," co-edited with Van Gessel. The firstvolume appeared in the spring of 2005.Angles, Jeffrey is the author of 'Japan A Traveler's Literary Companion', published 2006 under ISBN 9781883513160 and ISBN 1883513162.