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In August 2002, artist Benjamin Reiss flies to Tokyo to spend a year with Kayoko, the Japanese girl he met in France a year earlier. What he finds upon landing is a vast and complex culture, steeped in tradition but full of surprises. As one year stretches into six, Benjamin becomes immersed in the world of sento baths, taiko drums, and bento boxes, while studying cartooning under several masters of manga.