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Coffee Life in Japan by Merry White

Coffee Life in Japan

by Merry White

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I had not expected to enjoy this book very much when I bought. It looked vaguely interesting and I tend to buy everything I can lay my hands on concerning food.

Quite often anthropology is written in a style beyond horrible, but Ms White writes very restrained English and clearly loves Japan and clearly loves coffee.

She made me want to open a café (in the Japanese style) and I don't even like coffee very much.

So if you are interested in coffee (hand poured) and Japan, this is the book for you.
1 vote TheoSmit | Sep 7, 2012 |
"Coffee Life in Japan" has more in common with that spate of books popular a few years ago where an author picked a popular foodstuff — cod, salt, spam, whatever — and then produced a book in which every fact he or she could dig up about that foodstuff was, in more or less entertaining fashion, and with some firsthand reportage thrown in — a behind-the-scenes look at a spam farm in Slovenia! — retailed.
added by dcozy | editThe Japan Times, David Cozy (Sep 23, 2012)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520271157, Paperback)

This fascinating book--part ethnography, part memoir--traces Japan's vibrant café society over one hundred and thirty years. Merry White traces Japan's coffee craze from the turn of the twentieth century, when Japan helped to launch the Brazilian coffee industry, to the present day, as uniquely Japanese ways with coffee surface in Europe and America. White's book takes up themes as diverse as gender, privacy, perfectionism, and urbanism. She shows how coffee and coffee spaces have been central to the formation of Japanese notions about the uses of public space, social change, modernity, and pleasure. White describes how the café in Japan, from its start in 1888, has been a place to encounter new ideas and experiments in thought, behavior, sexuality , dress, and taste. It is where a person can be socially, artistically, or philosophically engaged or politically vocal. It is also, importantly, an urban oasis, where one can be private in public.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:58 -0400)

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