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Noto: an Unexplained Corner of Japan   By: (1855-1916)

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Noto: an Unexplained Corner of Japan by Percival Lowell offers a captivating exploration of a lesser-known region in Japan. Set against the backdrop of the early 20th century, Lowell paints a vivid picture of Noto, a mysterious place steeped in rich cultural heritage and haunting legends.

One of the standout aspects of Lowell's writing is his ability to transport the reader to the scene. Through his detailed descriptions, I could practically feel the salty sea breeze and hear the distant sounds of fishermen going about their daily routines. The lush landscapes, quaint villages, and ancient temples all come alive, making it easy to get lost in the magic of Noto.

Lowell delves into the heart of Noto's history, shedding light on its cultural significance. He adeptly interweaves personal anecdotes, local folklore, and historical facts to create a deep understanding of this enigmatic region. From the origins of the region's unique dialect to the rituals performed at its sacred shrines, readers are treated to a comprehensive overview of Noto's intriguing past.

The author's passion for Noto is evident throughout the book. His enthusiasm is infectious, making it impossible not to share his excitement for this unexplored corner of Japan. I found myself becoming increasingly curious and eager to unearth more about this hidden gem as Lowell's narrative unfolded.

However, one aspect worth noting is that Noto: an Unexplained Corner of Japan is undoubtedly a product of its time. The book was originally published in the early 1900s, and some readers may find certain outdated views and perspectives within its pages. While it's crucial to approach the work with an understanding of the context, it doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment and value of the book.

For those with a penchant for cultural exploration and a love for Japan, Noto: an Unexplained Corner of Japan is a delightful read. Lowell's evocative prose and immersive storytelling transport readers to a land teeming with history, folklore, and inexplicable wonders. With acute attention to detail and a genuine passion, Lowell ensures that Noto will no longer remain an unexplained corner but a captivating landscape waiting to be discovered.

First Page:

Scanned and typed by Eric Hutton (

Noto, an unexplored corner of Japan

by Percival Lowell

From you, my dear Basil, the confidant of my hopes toward Noto, I know I may look for sympathy now that my advances have met with such happy issue, however incomplete be my account. And so I ask you to be my best man in the matter before the world.

Ever yours, Percival Lowell.

Basil Hall Chamberlain, Esq.


I. An Unknown. II. Off and On. III. The Usui Pass. IV. Zenkoji. V. No. VI. On a New Cornice Road. VII. Oya Shiradzu, Ko Shiradzu. VIII. Across the Etchiu Delta. IX. Over the Arayama Pass. X. An Inland Sea. XI. Anamidzu. XII. At Sea Again. XIII. On the Noto Highway. XIV. The Harinoki Toge. XV. Toward the Pass. XVI. Riuzanjita. XVII. Over the Snow. XVIII. A Genial Inkyo. XIX. Our Passport and the Basha. XX. Down the Tenriugawa. XXI. To the Sea.

NOTO: an unexplored corner of Japan.

I. An Unknown.

The fancy took me to go to Noto.

It seemed a strange fancy to my friends.

Yet I make no apology for it; for it was a case of love at first sight.

Scanning, one evening, in Tokyo, the map of Japan, in a vague, itinerary way, with the look one first gives to the crowd of faces in a ballroom, my eye was caught by the pose of a province that stood out in graphic mystery from the western coast... Continue reading book >>

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