Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods

Tuttle Publishing
21
Free sample

This prize-winning book is both an illustrated tour of a Tokyo rarely seen in Japan travel guides and an artist's warm, funny, visually rich, and always entertaining graphic memoir.

Florent Chavouet, a young graphic artist, spent six months exploring Tokyo while his girlfriend interned at a company there. Each day he would set forth with a pouch full of color pencils and a sketchpad, and visit different neighborhoods. This stunning book records the city that he got to know during his adventures. It isn't the Tokyo of packaged tours and glossy guidebooks, but a grittier, vibrant place, full of ordinary people going about their daily lives and the scenes and activities that unfold on the streets of a bustling metropolis.

Here you find businessmen and women, hipsters, students, grandmothers, shopkeepers, policemen, and other urban types and tribes in all manner of dress and hairstyles. A temple nestles among skyscrapers; the corner grocery anchors a diverse assortment of dwellings, cafes, and shops—often tangled in electric lines.

The artist mixes styles and tags his pictures with wry comments and observations. Realistically rendered advertisements or posters of pop stars contrast with cartoon sketches of iconic objects or droll vignettes, like a housewife walking her pet pig, a Godzilla statue in a local park, and an urban fishing pond that charges 400 yen per half hour.

This very personal guide to Tokyo is organized by neighborhood with hand-drawn maps that provide an overview of each neighborhood, but what really defines them is what caught the artist's eye and attracted his formidable drawing talent. Florent Chavouet begins his introduction by observing that, "Tokyo is said to be the most beautiful of ugly cities." With wit, a playful sense of humor, and the multicolor pencils of his kit, he sets aside the question of urban ugliness or beauty and captures the Japanese essence of a great city in this truly vital portrait.
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Reviews

4.3
21 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Tuttle Publishing
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Published on
Oct 23, 2012
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781462906406
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Language
English
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Genres
Comics & Graphic Novels / Nonfiction / General
Travel / Asia / Japan
Travel / Maps & Road Atlases
Travel / Museums, Tours, Points of Interest
Travel / Special Interest / Hikes & Walks
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Florent Chavouet
More than just a Japan travel guide, Manabeshima Island Japan paints a colorful and entertaining picture of a particular place and time in Japan.

Japan is made up of thousands of sacred islands, artificial islands, industrial islands, resort islands, wild islands and exploding islands…but artist Florent Chavouet had only ever visited two of them. This graphic novel is the story of one summer when he decides to get to know one more—the tiny island of Manabeshima. This speck of dirt in the Inland Sea, off the coast of Osaka, has a total population of 300, and he sets himself the task of recording everything and everyone he meets there in quirky detail on the pages of his sketchbook.

Whereas Chavouet's other best-selling book, Tokyo on Foot, focuses on the physical city, it is the local island inhabitants who form the heart of this new book. Chavouet's sensitive drawings and insightful captions create instant portraits of incredible literary depth.

The cast of characters who are lovingly depicted includes Ikkyu-san, owner of the island's only bar (and the bar's three regulars—skinny guy, Day-Glo cap guy and greasy-haired guy); the young Nakamura family and their five kids; the layabout Shimura-san, a living relic from the hippie 1970s; Kurata-san the policeman; Reizo-san the island intellectual in his elegant Meiji-era home; Rock the Neanderthal fisherman; and a chorus of assorted grandmothers and cats—all of whom welcome Chavouet into their community as a kindred soul.

Against a backdrop of fireworks, summer festivals, fishing expeditions, and the constant hum of the cicadas, Chavouet depicts these characters so vividly and sympathetically, and describes their rustic way of life in such simple and appealing terms that we find it as hard to finish the book as Chavouet found it to leave the island at the end of his enchanted summer holiday.
Florent Chavouet
More than just a Japan travel guide, Manabeshima Island Japan paints a colorful and entertaining picture of a particular place and time in Japan.

Japan is made up of thousands of sacred islands, artificial islands, industrial islands, resort islands, wild islands and exploding islands…but artist Florent Chavouet had only ever visited two of them. This graphic novel is the story of one summer when he decides to get to know one more—the tiny island of Manabeshima. This speck of dirt in the Inland Sea, off the coast of Osaka, has a total population of 300, and he sets himself the task of recording everything and everyone he meets there in quirky detail on the pages of his sketchbook.

Whereas Chavouet's other best-selling book, Tokyo on Foot, focuses on the physical city, it is the local island inhabitants who form the heart of this new book. Chavouet's sensitive drawings and insightful captions create instant portraits of incredible literary depth.

The cast of characters who are lovingly depicted includes Ikkyu-san, owner of the island's only bar (and the bar's three regulars—skinny guy, Day-Glo cap guy and greasy-haired guy); the young Nakamura family and their five kids; the layabout Shimura-san, a living relic from the hippie 1970s; Kurata-san the policeman; Reizo-san the island intellectual in his elegant Meiji-era home; Rock the Neanderthal fisherman; and a chorus of assorted grandmothers and cats—all of whom welcome Chavouet into their community as a kindred soul.

Against a backdrop of fireworks, summer festivals, fishing expeditions, and the constant hum of the cicadas, Chavouet depicts these characters so vividly and sympathetically, and describes their rustic way of life in such simple and appealing terms that we find it as hard to finish the book as Chavouet found it to leave the island at the end of his enchanted summer holiday.
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