The Perry Scroll

Perry Scroll

It’s the British Museum’s latest treasure; it cost nearly half a million pounds and it records a defining moment in the history of Japan, when two centuries of isolation came to an end and Japan agreed to trade with the west. It’s the Perry Scroll and it’s on display now, showing a different section each month between April and October. Continue reading

Magical picture books from 19th century Yokohama

CamelliasForeigners in Yokohama at the end of the nineteen century lived an enviable life. They inhabited large mansions up on the hills overlooking the bay with spacious grounds and plenty of servants so they had time to turn their attention to gardening, versifying and keeping the kids entertained. Which is where Japanese publisher Takejiro Hasegawa spotted an opportunity. Continue reading

Autumn reading – Hi! My name is Loco and I am a Racist

My name is Loco and I am a RacistThe last of the three books in my autumn reading series is Hi! My name is Loco and I am a Racist. It’s hard to describe this book – it’s a real one-off. Despite the provocative title I would classify it as an autobiography, by a black man who wants to reach out to other people sincerely and directly and demands that others respond in kind. Continue reading