This book is actually two books rolled into one. The first is indeed a step-by-step guide to Kamakura, the legendary capital of Japan’s first shogunate.
The author, who has lived in Japan almost 37 years, will take you on a visit to 28 of his favorite temples and shrines.
The second book, in providing the context necessary to understand Kamakura, becomes an extremely up-to-date introduction to the part of Japan that is immortal.
The country’s history, religions, traditional art and architecture explained differently.Beneath both books lies a single idea.
You can understand neither Japan, nor Kamakura if you do not know about a great catastrophe, the wave of brutal anti-Buddhist violence that hit full-force the whole country from 1868 to 1871, destroying forever much of its cultural heritage and countless lives, only to be almost completely forgotten in the aftermath.