This book comprises several articles on the different aspects of Takeshi's life and work, starting from boyhood, then early days as a stand-up comic, and taking us to 2000 as ideas for Brother were emerging. Happily it is not written in a gushing or fanzine style. Takeshi is shown as a real person with - faults!
Merry Xmas Mr Lawrence is especially well covered, including an interview with director Oshima, no less. Nonetheless, you get, as you would hope, good coverage on his subsequent films too. Also, it gives behind the scenes glimpses at the Cannes and Venice film festivals with Takeshi's experiences showcasing Kids Return, Hana-bi and Kikujiro.
Well illustrated in colour throughout, and with unusual information and pictures on the Japanese TV work, comic days and a special feature on Takeshi's paintings, make this a pretty good book for a pleasurable browse.