When Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo in 1975, he found a feverish and surreal metropolis in the midst of an economic boom, where everything seemed new and history only remained in fragments. Through his adventures in the world of avant-garde theatre, his encounters with carnival acts, fashion photographers and moments on-set with Akira Kurosawa, Buruma underwent a radical transformation. For an outsider, unattached to the cultural burdens placed on the Japanese, this was a place to be truly free.A Tokyo Romance is a portrait of a young artist and the fantastical city that shaped him, and a timeless story about the desire to transgress boundaries: cultural, artistic and sexual.
Ian Buruma is editor of The New York Review of Books. His previous books include Their Promised Land, Year Zero, The China Lover, Murder in Amsterdam, Occidentalism, God's Dust, Behind the Mask, The Wages of Guilt, Bad Elements and Taming the Gods.