Yankees in the Land of the Gods : Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan
Genre: Japanese History
Author: Peter Booth Wiley (1991)
review in one breath
Author Booth Wiley has done some immaculate research here and lays this early history out in a narrative which is easily read and engaging. The apex of the historical tale is the role of Commodore Perry in opening Japan to the Western world, but this is about so much more than Perry's own adventures. Fundamental aspects of early Japanese culture and characters come to life and are given an invaluable historical context, including even the minute details of how each local region treated these mysterious foreigners. It is also filled with excellent original illustrations, maps and photos of the encounters, including Japanese art depicting the sunken-eyed, large-nosed Westerners.
This book seems to be out of print and rather obscure but you can buy it very cheaply on Amazon. I even had to upload my own cover scan so Amazon could show a graphic.