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General Interest (Trade Books)


Renaissance Books provides a platform for authors in the fields of reference, memoir, fiction, literature and literary studies that speak to our scholarly interest in East-West cultures and traditions.


Forthcoming and Recently Published Titles


The Life of Nobuko: Words, Works and Pictures of an Ordinary but Remarkable Japanese Woman, 1946-2015

The Life of Nobuko Words Works and Pictures of an Ordinary but Remarkable Japanese Woman 1946-2015

Edited and introduced by Kiyonori Kanasaka

ISBN: 978-1-898823-88-9


Forthcoming - June 2021

Born into the post-war American Occupation of Japan, Nobuko Kanasaka (née Fujimoto) emerged as a woman of her time, both tempered and inspired by the vicissitudes and challenges of occupation life (up to 1952), followed by the hazards of the early post-occupation growth of the economy, the ‘miracle’ years and finally the ‘post-bubble’ years.  This illustrated volume comprising over 400 photographs and illustrations, tracks both Nobuko’s life experiences from early childhood and celebrates her achievements as an amateur artist, calligrapher and writer.


Towards Japan: A Personal Journey

Towards Japan A Personal Journey

Arthur Stockwin

ISBN: 978-1-912961-10-8


July 2020

Distinguished author and former Professor of Modern Japanese Studies at Oxford, Arthur Stockwin here explores his personal journey from being the son of medical/dental parents in Birmingham, England, to becoming a specialist in the politics and modern history of Japan, while at the same time reflecting on his considerable personal experiences of Japan and assessing its current and possible future condition.


The Call of Japan: A Continuing Story – 1950 to the Present Day

The Call of Japan A Continuing Story  1950 to the Present Day

Hans Brinckmann

ISBN: 978-1-912961-14-6


June 2020

Part personal memoir, part professional flashback, part socio-cultural commentary, The Call of Japan chronicles the author’s experiences during his 40 years of living in Japan, from 1950 to 1974 as a ‘reluctant banker’, and from 2003 to the present as a writer. The Call of Japan comments extensively on the country’s economic, political and cultural realities during the crucial early years of post-war reconstruction as well as during more recent times.


Northern Light: Norway Past and Present

Northern Light Norway Past and Present

Nils-Johan Jørgensen

ISBN: 978-1-898823-90-2


October 2019

In Northern Light , former Counsellor and Minister Counsellor at the Norwegian Embassies in Bonn and Tokyo, Nils-Johan Jørgensen challenges many existing perceptions and stereotypes relating to his country of birth, making this an essential reference for those interested in Norway – its people and culture, as well as, more broadly, in international affairs and European history in particular.


The Thames and I: A Memoir by Prince Naruhito of Two Years at Oxford

The Thames and I A Memoir by Prince Naruhito of Two Years at Oxford

Prince Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan (Translated by the late Sir Hugh Cortazzi)

ISBN: 978-1-89882398-8


February 2019

Hardback published 2006; softback reprint published to mark ascendancy to imperial throne in 2019. Became Crown Prince of Japan in 1989, on death of his grandfather Emperor Showa, Prince Naruhito studied at Merton College, Oxford, 1983-1985. This marked the first time that anyone in direct succession to the throne had ever studied outside Japan.


Anjin - The Life and Times of Samurai William Adams, 1564-1620. As Seen Through Japanese Eyes

Anjin - The Life and Times of Samurai William Adams 1564-1620 As Seen Through Japanese Eyes

Hiromi T. Rogers

ISBN: 978-1-898823-22-3


October 2016

This is a highly readable account of Adams’ voyage to and twenty years in Japan, told for the first time from a Japanese perspective, and  enriched  by detailed observations of Japanese culture and society at this time. New light is shed on Adams’ relations with the Dutch and his countrymen, including the disastrous relationship with Captain John Saris, the key role likely to have been played by the munitions, including cannon, removed from Adams’ ship De Liefde in the great battle of Sekigahara (September 1600), as well as the shipbuilding skills that enabled Japan to advance its international maritime ambitions. This is the real story that inspired James Clavell’s Shogun


Anjin - The Life and Times of Samurai William Adams, 1564-1620. As Seen Through Japanese Eyes

Anjin - The Life and Times of Samurai William Adams 1564-1620 As Seen Through Japanese Eyes

Hiromi Rogers

ISBN: 978-1-898823-85-8


October 2018

On a battered ship, drifting into Usuki Bay, barely standing, are 23 Dutchmen and 1 Englishman, the remnants of a fleet of 5 ships and 500 men that had left Rotterdam. Englishman, William Adams, later known as Anjin Miura by the Japanese, who went from wretched prisoner to one of the Shogun’s closest advisers is the centrepiece of this book.


An Image of the Times. An Irreverent Companion to Ben Jonson's Four Humours and the Art of Diplomacy

An Image of the Times An Irreverent Companion to Ben Jonsons Four Humours and the Art of Diplomacy

Nils-Johan Jørgensen

ISBN: 978-1-898823-17-9


May 2015

Here is a witty and learned literary excursion into the world of humour and comic literature as revealed inter alia by the works of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Oliver Goldsmith and Henry Fielding – leading in the second half to some glorious insights and observations provided by the author’s life experience in the world of diplomacy. It is a rich and fascinating mix of literary idiom, the theatre of the absurd and the comic element of the human condition.


Magnolia. A Novel

Magnolia A Novel

Agnita Tennant

ISBN: 978-1-898823-18-6


July 2015

Here is an extraordinary love story that speaks to the crisis of separation and scorn, love and hate, following the Korean War ceasefire in July 1953. Four years later, Sukey, a graduate with much promise, falls in love with Kwon, a man who confesses to having been a North Korean spy. Although hostilities are over, enmity towards the North is the social norm and deeply entrenched.  With anti-spy campaigns, street searches, and arrests of any suspect, citizens are urged to be vigilant and to report on any suspicious goings-on.


My Shanghai, 1942-1946. A Novel

My Shanghai 1942-1946 A Novel

Keiko Itoh

ISBN: 978-1-898823-23-0


January 2016

It is 1942. Shanghai after Pearl Harbor. Newly-arrived Eiko Kishimoto, a twenty-year-old, London-educated Japanese housewife, settles into a privileged existence in the French Concession as a member of the community of the Occupying Power. Initially, her days are filled with the rich fare of high society life, amidst an ebullient, cosmopolitan community that makes up Shanghai.


Rhythms, Rites and Rituals. My Life in Japan in Two-step and Waltz-time

Rhythms Rites and Rituals My Life in Japan in Two-step and Waltz-time

Dorothy Britton

ISBN: 978-1-898823-17-9


March 2015

Including  a description of her survival as a small child in Japan’s Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, this book is an enthralling account of the late Dorothy Britton’s life, loves and experiences in an amazingly varied life and career. Amusing episodes and stories of fascinating people and relationships abound in the book, as do valuable insights into topics such as the post-war Occupation and its impact on everyday life, the role of women, learning Japanese, marriage customs, food and many other aspects of Japanese culture and society.