- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
The Honorable Visitors Paperback – 1 Jul 2001
Special offers and product promotions
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The list of visitors is honorable indeed, ranging from early Meiji-era folks such as Victorian travel writer Isabella Bird, former US President Ulysses S. Grant, true romance novelist Pierre Loti, humorist Henry Adams, to literary figures of various ages such as Rudyard Kipling, Aldous Huxley, Jean Cocteau, William Faulkner and Truman Capote. Some oddballs such as Charlie Chaplin also contribute. All came to Japan with expectations. All saw Japan through their own particular perspectives.
Perspective is what is really being offered in "The Honorable Travelers." People react strongly to Japan, and many seem to find wildly opposite discoveries and adventures. The Victorian travelers brought their snobbery and sense of important superiority. Later travelers came seeking the Japanese "other," only to find disappointingly that Japan was just a real place with real human beings.
As a somewhat long-term resident in Japan, I found the book both sad and enlightening. Sad, in seeing the colonial abuse of people such as Pierre Loti, who bought a girl for $20, married her and then left her behind solely so that he could write a scandalous, racy novel of loose-moraled Japan and her exotic women. Enlightening, in that I can see some perspectives in myself, from when I first came to Japan, or in the faces or friends and family who visit.
People still come like Loti, seeking an exotic love affair with a Japanese woman, giving little thought to her as a person. People still come like Kipling, allowing the country to be what it is, without bias or worship. Given of what I know of Japan today, I tend to wish it's past and present had more Kiplings and fewer Lotis.
While quite tiny in size, good for a weekend read, "The Honorable Visitors" is an important book for those willing to look at Japan from many angles, and from many insights.