The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan, 29 pounds .

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The Independent Culture
A tranquil pen and ink wash, showing off the sophistication of 15th-century Japanese art, taken from The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan ( pounds 29.95), a book that brings together the facts and the figures, the sumo and the sake. But just set the charm of Japan's early art against the flashy, often pornographic comic-books or 'manga' that now sell over a billion copies a year, and there you have it. A culture of contrasts.

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