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Required Books for NanoJapan Participants

The following books are required for all participants in the NanoJapan Program who have not previously studied Japanese. These can all be purchased online through or you may also purchase these through other online retailers or local bookstores.

AJALT also required that all NanoJapan students study and try to memorize the Hiragana and Katakana alphabets prior to arrival. There are Hiragana and Katakana flash cards and workbooks that may also be useful for self-study prior to arrival in Japan.

If you have previously studied Japanese or have prior Japanese language experience you should wait to purchase your textbooks until you have taken your language placement exam. AJALT will notify you about what version of Japanese for Busy People you will need to purchase.

Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version includes CD (Japanese for Busy People Series)
Japanese for Busy People: Kana Workbook Incl. 1 CD
Self-Study Genki Online Self-Study Resources
Hiragana & Katakana Worksheets

Highly Recommended Books for NanoJapan Participants

The following books are highly recommended for all NanoJapan participants but are not required. These can all be purchased online through and many of these books may also be found via other online retailers or local bookstores. These books may also be available at your campus library.

Recommended Language Books

Kana Flash Cards
Let's Learn Hiragana: First Book of Basic Japanese Writing (Kodansha's Children's Classics)
Let's Learn Katakana: Second Book of Basic Japanese Writing

Let's Learn Kanji: An Introduction to Radicals, Components and 250 Very Basic Kanji


Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese

Colloquial Kansai Japanese

Useful for students who will do research in the Kansai area.

Recommended Culture & Guidebooks

Global Studies: Japan & the Pacific Rim

Check your library to see if they have the 8th or 9th editions of this text and read the articles on Japan. Both versions can also be purchaed via Amazon if you would like. The 10th version has not yet been released.

Lonely Planet Tokyo City Guide
Old Tokyo: Images of Asia by Keiko Packard
Time Out Guide to Tokyo, 5th Edition
Tokyo City Atlas: A Bilingual Guide (3rd Ed.)
Lonely Planet Japan - Country Guide
Rough Guide to Japan
Lonely Planet Kyoto - City Guide
Old Kyoto: The Updated Guide to Traditional Shops, Restaurants, and Inns

Recommended Nanotechnology Books

The following nanotechnology books are recommended reading for all NanoJapan participants but are not required. These are general resources and you will also likely be assigned project-specific articles and readings by your host either prior to or upon arrival at your resaerch lab. We highly recommended seeing if these books are available in your campus or local library as some are quite expenseive. If you wish to purchase one of these books they can all be purchased online through
Nanotechnology For Dummies
Nanotechnology: A Gentle Introduction to the Next Big Idea
Understanding Nanotechnology
Nanophysics and Nanotechnology: An Introduction to Modern Concepts in Nanoscience
Physical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes
Carbon Nanotubes: Advanced Topics in the Synthesis, Structure, Properties and Applications
Principles of Nanophotonics (Optics and Optoelectronics)
Principles of Nano-Optics
Physics of Semiconductor Devices

Japanese Culture & Etiquette Guides

Wrapping Culture: Politeness, Presentation, and Power in Japan and Other Societies
The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture
Culture Shock Japan
Etiquette Guide to Japan: Know the Rules that Make the Difference!
The Japanese Have a Word for It: The Complete Guide to Japanese Thought and Culture
Live & Work in Japan, 3rd Edition: The Most Accurate, Practical And Comprehensive Guide to Living and Working In Japan
Working in Japan: An Insider's Guide for Engineers and Scientists

Japanese Food Guides

A Dictionary of Japanese Food: Ingredients & Culture
A Guide to Food Buying in Japan
Lonely Planet World Food: Japan
Squeamish About Sushi: Food Adventures in Japan

Foreigners in Japan

Notes from Toyota-Land: An American Engineer in Japan
The Blue-Eyed Salaryman: From World Traveller to Lifer at Mitsubishi
Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa
Books by Alex Kerr
Books by Donald Richie

Japanese History & Society

A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present
Japan Today
Japanese Today: Change and Continuity
Giants of Japan: The Lives of Japan's Greatest Men and Women
Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation
Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche
You Gotta Have Wa
Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle, Updated Edition: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation
Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.
Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews

Japanese Literature

The Tale of Genji
The Pillow Book
Diary of Lady Murasaki
The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan
Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature: From Restoration to Occupation, 1868-1945
The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature: From Restoration to Occupation, 1868-1945
Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology
The Makioka Sisters
Books by Haruki Murakami

Recommended Movies

Grave of the Fireflies
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Japan's Longest Day
Movies by Hayao Miyazaki
Tokyo Godfathers
Fine, Totally Fine
Akihabara Geeks
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Season 1 - Episode 11: Japan
Movies by Akira Kurosawa
Memoirs of a Geisha (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)

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