The Japan Lights

Iain Maloney

Tippermuir Books



ISBN: 9781913836320


Publication date: 19 June 2023

Rights: World



In 2017, holed up in a hotel room, feverish, despondent and aimless, Iain Maloney chances upon an article about Richard Henry Brunton, a Victorian civil engineer unknown in his Scottish homeland but considered ‘The Father of Japanese Lighthouses’ in Japan. With more than twenty of his lighthouses still in use today, Maloney sets out with newfound purpose to visit them all.

Part travel memoir, part history, The Japan Lights visits isolated regions of rural Japan, discovering compelling stories from its past. Maloney witnesses the lingering trauma of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, and comes to a new understanding of the precariousness of life on a planet that is 71 per cent water. On the way he explores the paradox of Brunton, a flawed human being whose work saved hundreds of thousands of lives and made the seas around Japan safer for all.