LibraryThing and Goodreads

There is now a LibraryThing bookshelf and Goodreads group for this blog. I’m trying both out for the moment and will decide which to stick with based on experience.

Japanese Culture Through Rare Books on FutureLearn

Anywone who is following this blog will probably be interested in the FutureLearn course “Japanese Culture Through Rare Books”.

For those who don’t know it, FutureLearn is a provider of free, online courses (MOOCs) that are taught by different educational institutions, in this case, Keio University (motto: Calamus gladio fortior, the pen is mightier than the sword). The courses run in real-time, enabling interaction with the course instructors and other students, but the course materials remain available (including for download) after the course has finished.

What I particularly liked about the course was the insight into how books were physically put together, as well as looking at the many beautiful illustrated books in the Keio library.

ようこそ – Welcome!

Welcome to this new blog on Japanese literature, travelogues on Japan and learning the Japanese language! The name of the blog comes from one of the famous ‘untranslatable words’ that have been doing the rounds on the internet – tsundoku (積読(つんどく)) meaning ‘books that you buy (or let pile up) but don’t read’. The word is a portmanteau of 積む(つむ) (tsumu, to pile or stack things up) or 積んでおく(つんでおく) (tsunde oku, to pile things up and leave them) and 読書(どくしょ) (dokusho, reading) – see the comprehensive article on ‘tsundoku’ on the Tofugu website to learn more. Please join me in reading through my tsundoku bookcase!


… to this new blog on exploring Japan through the eyes of many different writers, Japanese and international.

There are a few Japanese authors whose works are well known in the wider world, and I intend to read all these ‘classics’ if I can, but I am also interested in finding out the more unsung authors (and singing about them if I feel it is called for!). I’m putting all this on a blog in the hope that other people will find something interesting in here and discover a new book that becomes an old friend.