Japanese in a Hurry- A quick approach to Japanese language by Mr. and Mrs. O. Vaccari
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-hurry-ap ... B0007J8S1W
I was given this book as a gift from a friend who saw it at a book sale and picked it up for me. It's a great way for English speakers to get an introduction to the Japanese language. It's pretty old (copyright 1964) and includes 100 short lessons, 1000 common words in a mini-dictionary, festivals, and some stories that are translated into romanji. I like it because it would be the perfect book to take if you're going to Japan. It's pretty small (it fits in my purse!) and it has lots of sentences that are spoken in every day life. It also has a guide to festivals, giving when they take place, what they are celebrating, and the best time to go during or around them. There are even some color pictures [The first picture made me laugh a bit, since the women are supposed to be geisha, I think, but they are all dressed like their dead]
Still, it's a pretty good guide, and it explains a lot of the grammar, although it doesn't touch on hiragana, katakana, or kanji.
Recommended for those who want a quick study of Japanese.