Looking for the Lost

Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan

  • Alan Booth
Looking for the Lost

Binding: Paperback
Pages: 302
ISBN10: 1-56836-148-3
ISBN13: 978-1-56836-148-2
Release date: May 15, 1996

List price: $16.00

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Traveling by foot through mountains and villages, Alan Booth found a Japan far removed from the stereotypes familiar to Westerners. Whether retracing the footsteps of ancient warriors or detailing the encroachments of suburban sprawl, he unerringly finds the telling detail, the unexpected transformation, the everyday drama that brings this remote world to life on the page. Looking for the Lost is full of personalities, from friendly gangsters to mischievous children to the author himself, an expatriate who found in Japan both his true home and dogged exile. Wry, witty, sometimes angry, always eloquent, Booth is a uniquely perceptive guide.

Looking for the Lost is a technicolor journey into the heart of a nation. Perhaps even more significant, it is the self-portrait of one man, Alan Booth, exquisitely painted in the twilight of his own life.


“[Booth] achieved an extraordinary understanding of life as it is lived by ordinary Japanese....Frequently brilliant in his insights.”—F.G. Notehelfer, The New York Times Book Review

“Alan Booth was not only the best travel writer on Japan, but one of the best travel writers in the English language.  Looking for the Lost is a superb exercise in describing Japan from the point of view of an outsider with the knowledge of an insider.”—Ian Buruma, author of The Wages of Guilt

“Booth had a horror of pretension....[He] never fails to produce the whimsical anecdotes that keep the whole account down-to-earth.”—Elizabeth ward, Washington Post Book World


ALAN BOOTH was born in London in 1946 and traveled to Japan in 1970 to study Noh theater. He stayed, working as a writer and film critic, until his death from cancer in 1993. His books include The Roads to Sata.