While some people pine for traditions from Japan's ancient past, it might actually be the more modern things that we'll truly miss.
For Damian Flanagan's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
James Heisig's "Much Ado About Nothingness" strives to link the philosophies of Kirato Nishida and Hajime Tanabe with broader intellectual and artistic themes.
Lafcadio Hearn's "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" is an unmissable book offering a visceral, firsthand experience of a Japan now largely vanished.
Jeff Kingston's "Japan" is a concise, highly readable overview of Japan's political evolution from 1945 to the present, observed from an overarching historical perspective.
In Japan, it was the runaway best-seller status of "Norwegian Wood" (1987), his wistful tale of crushed innocence and young love that sold more than 4 million copies in Japanese alone, that established Murakami's iconic status.
Roger Pulvers' latest memoir, "The Unmaking of an American," takes readers on an engaging and occasionally revelatory tour of Japan and Pulvers' own family history.
Although this edition of "Geisha in Rivalry" is a translation of a censored version of the more racy original, it represents Nagai's rediscovery of the fast-disappearing traditional culture of Japan.
First published in Japanese in 1985, "Nishida Kitaro: The Man and His Thought" brings together diverse essays about both Nishida and his philosophy of "absolute nothingness" written by his former pupil Keiji Nishitani (1900-90).
Christopher Harding's comprehensive "Japan Story" is an ultra-progressive account of modern Japanese history, ushering the often-ignored maverick women, socialist thinkers and doubters of the state version of modernity to the front.
Heisig's "Philosophers of Nothingness" introduces the Kyoto School's three main philosophers: Kitaro Nishida, Hajime Tanabe and Keiji Nishitani.