For many people, the land of the Rising Sun is not a place, it is a myth. Although tourism to Japan is growing year by year, its islands retain an aura of mystery and unreachable. The history and contradictions of a people with a courteous but extremely reserved character, capable of infinite endurance and respectful of millennial formulas and rites, contribute to the creation of the myth. Just as the shoji open and close creating the environments of the traditional Japanese house, so each chapter of this book reveals, page after page, a world of unexpected images, in which refinement and elegance coexist with a merciless severity, and the obsessive order can barely hold back the gasps of an intimately rebellious and savage spirit. The result is a path that goes from the sunny clarity of a beauty that follows different canons from those of the West to the disturbing darkness of Japanese Gothic. An ideal journey into the real Japan, which feeds the myth without debunking it.