Dennis Gastmann was born in 1978 and, after studying politics and journalism, worked at the NDR TV network. Since 2009 he has travelled the globe in the role of world reporter and was awarded the Golden Prometheus journalism award in 2009 in the Best Newcomer category. He was awarded the Axel Springer Prize in 2010. His latest book, Going to Canossa, which documents his hike from Hamburg over the Alps into Italy, was published in 2012
THE SECOND-LAST SAMURAI
A fascinating portrait of a country caught between order and anarchy, obsession and Zen
Dennis Gastmann takes us to the land of riddles, rules and rituals that is modern Japan. Its centuries of isolation are long gone yet this country still seems inexplicably foreign and enigmatic. Gastmann is not alone on his journey of discovery; his wife is a descendent of an old Samurai family. The couple travel from one end of this island nation to the other, from the Sea of Gods on Hokkaido to the volcanos on Ky?sh? before being enveloped in the shimmering lights of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Gastmann finds Japan as Westerners imagine it in the neon glare of a robotic restaurant. In the hot springs known as the “Hells of Beppu”, he finds himself yearning for calm and rest when Death suddenly sits down opposite him, smoking. He searches for meaning on the temple mountain K?ya-san before finally closing a restless summer meditating in the lotus position.
An engagingly personal adventure!