Japan: A Foreign Place / The Biography 1974-1984


Burning Shed, the online music shop ‘run by artists, for artists’, has moved into book publishing this year with a new biography of influential new wave group Japan.

A Foreign Place: The Biography 1974-1984 has been written by respected musician and author, Anthony Reynolds with the full approval and co-operation of Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen and Rob Dean and contains many unseen period photographs, as well as first-hand accounts of the band and its music from friends, music industry associates and musical collaborators.

The 212-page book is presented as a cloth bound, deluxe hardback edition (approximately 9″x9″) and is designed by Carl Glover, celebrated for his work with Lasse Hoile on Steven Wilson releases.

A Foreign Place: The Biography 1974-1984 is a one-print run and is available now exclusively from Burning Shed.


Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

…finally ordered, life is short

[…] an expansion into book publishing, with the first release being Japan: A Foreign Place, a hardcover biography of the seminal new wave/art rock band. [via Super Deluxe […]


I really want a rarities collection (including the original version of Some Kind of Fool)… As for the book, wish I could buy it, but unfortunately it’s a little pricey.

Ian B

Almost forgot to add there was also a book of Japan era photos – many never seen written by the one and only by Steve Jansen

Through A Quiet Window – another beautifully produced book and I was lucky enough to get a signed copy

All I want now is a complete Japan vinyl super deluxe edition – surely this is long overdue!

Ian B

Been a great month for Japan/Sylvian books .

I also got this via Kickstarter with a credit in the book – it really is a great read.

Not sure if everyone is aware but David has also published his own book in the last couple of weeks
Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014

Was only £39 on Amazon UK and another beautifully presented book.


I was a bit gutted when I saw this article was about an extravagantly priced book rather than some sort of CD boxset.

I, too, was a big fan back in the day and have recollections of buying a fanzine called Bamboo. I can’t remember how I found out it existed, possibly something in the Record Mirror, but was amazed to find that one of the authors lived in my home town. This meant I could have a flick before buying and purchased a few back issues.


I’ve generally had bad experiences with Burning Shed as a mail order retailer, but I’m sure this book is gorgeous. Tempting, but can’t afford it right now.

peter m

This is one of those moments where being out of work
really stinks! Sadly can’t afford at the moment.
Looks beautiful, enjoy if you manage to get a copy.


Sylvian really needs to let go of whatever the hell it is he holds against his ex-bandmates, life is too short….just as the Karn family!


I’m a HUGE Sylvian fan – ‘Gone to Earth’ is my favourite album of all time, and he certainly never fails to impress (though recent projects are a bit more challenging to say the least). He certainty couldn’t operate within the constraints of a band any longer than he did with Japan.

Funny, went to Simon Napier-Bell’s (manager Wham!, Japan) book store signing in London early 2000s, and asked him what George & David had in common. He said “nothing – one said, ‘I don’t care how you do it, I just want to be the biggest band in the world’. The other said ‘can’t I just be a small pop star’?”. Not hard to work out who was who. Both bands off course folded on Simon at the height of their success. DOOHHHH!


Oh, that obviously a DOOHHHHH! for the late Simon. Both artists went on to bigger and better things in their own different ways.


Hopefully a ebook version in the future?


What the hell would anyone want an ebook version of this beautiful book for?

Hold it in your hands and enjoy it.


I was one of the original backers of the initial Kickstarter campaign. (annoyingly my name got forgotten from the list of backers – yes I’m still pissed!).

I finished the book a week or so ago and I have to say that I can thoroughly recommend it for any fan.
Lots of interesting details and anecdotes about the recordings, live work and general band evolution.
There’s also a ton of high quality images.

Japan is probably may favourite band of all time and I think this book does the band justice.


Japan will always be one of my favorite new wave bands. While i cherish all their output i still feel that Virgin hasn’t released all their recordings. There’s still a vault of material that should be made into an anthology for fans across 2 cds.


I was lucky enough to secure a copy signed by the author.

The book is indeed lovely. Only had chance to dip-in so far, but it looks great.

It will become a bookshelf companion to Christopher Young’s “On The Periphery: David Sylvian – A Biography The Solo Years”

Charles K.

This should be good, odd for a band of their cult status to get such a deluxe treatment but man am I not complaining. In retrospect I liken them to the Radiohead of their time, sandwiched into a genre that they owned and exceeded. Quiet Life through Tin Drum are some of the greatest albums of that era in my opinion. I’ll be ordering this immediately.

Thanks for the tip by the way, I doubt I would have ever known about this.

Kevin Allen

Oddly enough my copy arrived this morning. I’ve not had a chance to read it yet but it looks terrific!


big fan!
shipping to Malaysia £10.50
and the currency is sh*t!
a pity it’s unavailable on Amazon,
a shout out to David, Steve, Rich… time to reissue & clear the vault,
last reissue was 2003 & CDs sales continue to fall…
2 CDs deluxe edition for Quiet, Gentlemen…
& of coz SDE for Tin Drum…
& dear Mick’s family may welcome the $$$


“…written by respected musician and author, Anthony Reynolds with the full approval and co-operation of Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen and Rob Dean..”

Elephant in the room, anyone? Besides the late Mick Karn, of course.


looks real good
was just listening to Oil On canvas yesterday