Depending on what your intended usage for this book will be, this book may be somewhat helpful. I needed this for an art history class my senior year of college as an art history major. Thing is, the class was pretty ridiculous. It was supposed to be an introductory class into the art of japanese art & tradition, but the professor spoke more of Chinese art & traditions.
This book will give you a pretty thorough knowledge in Japanese Art, as well as some of its culture, more through the introductions of the eras and periods and through its pictures. But that's it, do not buy this if you're looking for a complete knowledge, because that's not what it is. Also, if you are looking for early (i.e. ancient!) japanese history, there really isn't any, in this book or just in general.
Definitely buy it here on Amazon, because I found it to be a lot cheaper in comparison to my friends who had spent a fortune on it through eBay and the university bookstores. You may also want to get a soft cover if you want to sell it back later on or use it solely for class, because it's such a heavy book (I have the hard cover). My intent was to keep the book, because it's such a nice book to have in anyone's collection.
If you do purchase it, you will not be let down. It's a great buy.