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From 1632 until 1854, Japan’s rulers restricted contact with foreign countries, a near isolation that fostered a remarkable and unique culture that endured to this day. 🌸
In this remarkable book, Anna Sherman describes searching for the great bells by which the inhabitants of Edo, later called Tokyo, kept the hours of the shoguns’city.
An exloration of Tokyo becomes a meditation not just on time, but on history, memory, and impermanence.
Through Sherman’s journeys around the city and her friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevated the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, The Bells of Old Tokyo follows haunting voices through the labyrinth that is the Japanese capital.
An old woman remembers escaping from the American firebombs of World War Two. A scientist builds the most accurate click in the world, a clock that will not lose a second in five billion years. The head of the Tokugawa shogunal house reflects on the destruction of his grandfathers’ city: ‘ A lost thing is lost. To chase it leads to darkness.’
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