Here's an interesting read and something that can present a cultural reference from the author's vantage of Japan. The book is titled Mishima's Sword by Christopher Ross.

It's a narrative of Ross' (who is an Iaidoka) travels in Japan ostensively to find the sword with wich the famous author, Mishima, committed suicide.

In the course of his travels he gives a perspective of Japanese culture that is both entertaining, profound and funny.