Geek Culture

Published on May 5th, 2015 | by Ellyssa Kroski

A Geek in Japan Book Review

A Geek in Japan Book Review Ellyssa Kroski
Newcomer Friendliness
Suitability for Libraries



A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony
Author: Hector Garcia
Publisher: Tuttle Publishinggeek

This stunning book is a comprehensive guide to all things pop culture in Japan. From otaku culture, manga, and anime, to subcultures and urban tribes such as Gals,
lolitas and visual kei, this book covers it all.

The author begins with a history of the origins of Japanese culture and the traditional arts and disciplines which serves as the foundation for his geek3discussion of the Japanese character, values, and daily life.   Both workplace and personal relationships and etiquette are discussed along with illuminating comparisons between Western and Japanese perspectives on situations.  These chapters are jam-packed with interesting discussions such as the importance of meishi (business cards), and how to treat them, the structure and hierarchy in a Japanese company, and the background of the traditional geisha.

The second half of the book deals with Japanese popular culture; movies and television, Japanese music, the world of manga and anime, and otaku life.  Packed with images, the author leads the reader through the origins of manga to its golden age to manga today including its publishing cycles and formats as well as presents a discussion of the anime industry.  In addition to providing information about dorama or television series, music, and movies, the author includes a guide to key places in Tokyo and beyond that otakus will want to visit including the Akihabara district for electronics, anime, manga, and figures, and Harajuku for Japanese street fashion and cosplay items.

geek5Having been to Japan on an anime tour myself, this book was a real treat and a resource that I wish I’d had before going.  It’s spot on with regard to subject coverage and chock full of gorgeous photos.  I would highly recommend this title for libraries of all types.

About the Author

Executive Editor Ellyssa is the Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 35 books including her latest book Cosplay in Libraries: How to Embrace Costume Play in Your Library. She is a librarian, an adjunct faculty member at Pratt Institute and Drexel University, and an international conference speaker. She's also an avid cosplayer and has appeared on the Cake Boss TV show as well as in the official music video for New York Comic Con and many other events. Contact her at

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