Author(s): Stephen Mansfield
The history of Tokyo is as eventful as it is long. A concise yet detailed overview of this fascinating, centuries-old city, Tokyo: A Biography is a perfect companion volume for history buffs or Tokyo-bound travelers looking to learn more about their destination. In a whirlwind journey through Tokyo's past from its earliest beginnings up to the present day, this Japanese history book demonstrates how the city's response to everything from natural disasters to regime change has been to reinvent itself time and again. A calamitous fire results in a massive expansion of the city's territory. A debate over the Samurai code creates far-reaching social change. A malleable boy becomes the figurehead for powerful forces who change an ancient feudal society into a modern industrialised power within a generation. Utter destruction wipes the slate clean again so Tokyoites may start all over. And so it goes. Tokyo's story is riveting, and by the end of Tokyo: A Biography, readers see a city almost unrivalled in its uniqueness, a place that despite its often tragic history still shimmers as it prepares to face the future.
Stephen Mansfield, an author and freelance photojournalist based in Japan, has contributed to over 60 magazines, newspapers and journals worldwide. His books include Tokyo: A Cultural and Literary History, Japanese Stone Gardens: Origins, Meaning, Form and Japan's Master Gardens.