i’m currently reading some of the books from this manga series by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki (fish, vegetables, and sake). i don’t especially like the manga-style (where everyone seems to be screaming often), however they do give lots of infos about japanese cooking, and are very interesting to read for this very reason!
the manga about vegetables recommends a book that i would love to read, but that hasn’t been translated into english yet: Minakami Tsutomu’s « days of eathing earth: my twelve months of devotion ».
a google-translation of the english title results in 地球を食べる日 (pronounced: Chikyū o taberu hi), which, so far, hasn’t helped me find the original japanese book/title http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsutomu_Minakami (not that i could do anything with it, since i don’t speak japanese).
it sure sounds like an interesting read!