Travellers in search of the unexpected found it in Old Japan. Here was a strange land indeed, where women blackened their teeth, men wore tattoos in lieu of clothing, and the whole family bathed together “with as much freedom as a flock of ducks”. Visitors came in thousands and eagerly put pen to paper, commenting on everything Japanese, from curios to coolies, sake to samurai, etiquette to earthquakes. They left behind—in letters, diaries and memoirs—personal impressions of Old Japan, sometimes as revealing of the writers themselves as the country they came to visit. This book features 74 of these traveller’s tales—many of them funny, others serious, but all a pleasure to read.