Just wanted to update. I've received a few of the books I ordered, but four still have to arrive.
The Japanese Kitchen
by Kimiko Barber is really awesome. Not only does it have recipes, but it discusses the history of food in Japan, and for every ingredient that a western person might look at and think, "huh?" there's a full page explaining what its history, how it grows/where its habitat is, appearance and taste, buying and storing, health benefits and culinary uses. I really like it thus far. I haven't tried anything out of it yet, because I actually want to read it from beginning to end to get a fuller understanding of what I'm getting myself into. :)
Thank you salt and pepper
for suggesting it.