There is nothing like enjoying a good book before a soak. Here are my favorite books on Japanese bathing culture. Many of these may require a bit of a search, but I assure you that they are worth it.
The Way of the Japanese Bath by Mark Edward Harris: A stunning collection of black and white photos, this beautiful book is divided into three parts: outdoor bath, indoor bath, and after the bath. This is a must-have for any Japanese bath enthusiast.
- Japan, A View from the Bath by Scott Clark: An anthropological study of bathing in Japan, this book compiles information from interviews and the author's own bathing experience. It is a detailed look at the different types of baths throughout Japan’s past and present.
Pleasures of the Japanese Bath by Peter Grilli: An in-depth look at the history of bathing in Japan, including the beautiful legend of Empress Komyo. This book also discusses the place of bathing in present-day Japan. A large book with accompanying photos — filled with information!
- Getting Wet: Adventures in the Japanese Bath by Eric Talmadge: A wonderful book detailing Japanese bathing culture around Japan with a focus on the author's own experiences of bathing in Japan. This book is excellent for learning about the more unique aspects of Japanese bathing and will take you on a journey.
It adds something to a bathing ritual to get inspired through books before bathing. All of the books above are wonderful ways to get in the zone while learning. Bit by bit, from a shower through after the bath, the goal is to let your worries slip away. Books open the door and help us on that journey.