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." Nakagami Kenji explores the ghostly, mythology-laden backwoods of Kumano. 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 Honshu 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 Kushu ? to a Japan that only the finest stories can reveal. Contributors include Hino Keizo, Maruya Saiichi, Inoue Yasushi, Oda Sakunosuke, Miyamoto Teru, Tada Chimako, Atoda Takashi, Nakagami Kenji, Mizukami Tsutomu, Kawabata Yasunari, Takahashi Mutsuo, and Shima Tsuyoshi.