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A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, ZEN, and the Tea Ceremony [Paperback]

Hector Garcia
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Frequently Bought Together

A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, ZEN, and the Tea Ceremony + Lonely Planet Japanese Phrasebook & Dictionary (Lonely Planet Phrasebook: Japanese) + Lonely Planet Japan (Travel Guide)
Price For All Three: 24.01

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Shokai Inc (15 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4805311290
  • ISBN-13: 978-4805311295
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 19 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Geek in Japan A playful traveler's guide to Japan Full description

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 10 Nov 2012
By GMills
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book wanting to gain a further interest in Japan, its people and its culture. It has done exactly that! It's extremely informative and does it in a fun and easily accessible way. It gives you enough information to feel satisfied with the book, however, leaves you wanting to find out more and further your interest Japan. Having never been to Japan I found it fascinating and made me want to go. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to travel to Japan or just generally interested in Japan or knows little about the country. Well worth a read! It's not an academic book and there is much opinion throughout, however, its a book based on the author experience and travels through Japan and what he has learnt. All the information and opinions are well structured and gives a well balanced view of his findings.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's a shame in a way that the title of this book involves the word 'geek' - while it's true to the author and the name of his blog, it might alienate potential readers who think the focus will be on manga and video games. In reality, this is a beautifully presented, high quality book which covers pretty much any aspect of Japan you might be interested in - not just the geeky bits! I'm most interested in pop culture, fashion and language but I found the sections on history and traditional arts interesting too. It's not encyclopaedic nor does it attempt to be, but is still surprisingly in depth.

It's unfortunately a little let down by poor editing. Sometimes Japanese words are used with no definition (e.g. 'daimo' on page 17), people are discussed without introduction (e.g. Takahiro, page 17) and there are a few grammatical and spelling errors (e.g. 'next-door', My Neighbour Tottoro).

These errors aside, it's a very enjoyable, well researched book that will get you interested in learning more about the country and its culture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining quick guide to Japan and its culture 10 April 2014
Length: 1:29 Mins
A Geek in Japan is an interesting and insightful guide to all who are fascinated by the Japan and its culture.

The book covers aspects of Japan that might be familiar to most, such as manga, anime, and also deeper subjects such as their working environment, society views, practices and more. There are many little nuggets of information in each chapter, such as riding the subway, why people wear face mask,preparing tea, and even a brief travel section.

The best part of the book is the text that explains why Japanese behave the way they do. E.g. The low crime rate, hard workers, employees who typically stay at a single company their whole life, after office hours interaction, family dynamics, the meticulous nature of people, etc. Once you understand that, you sort of get the context to the bigger picture to their society.

I'm not sure how accurate the text is, but several reviews on Amazon commented on that. I guess you have to understand that this is written from the view of a foreigner staying in Japan not for the purpose of studying the country. What's written mostly are based on observation.

The book would have been even better, more insightful with proofreading and commentary from actual Japanese people, because there are times where I go "Is this for real?".

Author Hector Garcia has packed a bit of everything to make it an enjoyable read. I was captivated enough to finish reading in one sitting.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really excellent book. 27 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The best introduction to contemporary Japan that you can buy. Read it from cover to cover before you visit and it will enhance your time there immeasurably. An honest introduction to all the important aspects of Japan today, with lots of relevant photos. The level of detail is spot on. Don't worry about the 'Geek' bit in the title; it just refers to the author, who is a software engineer. A great book at a fair price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice read with good insights 24 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Simple, clear, entertaining. You'll get to know more about Japan, its people and culture, with good insights. All from the point of view of a foreigner who has been living there for some years. It's a good apetizer for your curiosity about Japan.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New 9 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
There's nothing exactly wrong with this book. If you've never been to Japan and have only the most basic understanding of its culture, I can see how it might provide some help. However, if you have anything more than the most superficial knowledge of the country, I fail to see how it could be remotely interesting.

There is nothing in this book that wouldn't be covered by the most simplistic guide books or the quickest internet search. The author has no particular expertise in any one area and all his information could be easily taken from the slightest skimming of a few pamphlets during a two week visit to the country.

His personal insights are also ludicrously simplistic. He often begins sentences with, "The Japanese really like..." or "Japanese people are..." followed by the most derivative stereotypes.

I am by no means an expert on Japan, but I found myself labouring through this in the hope of finding something I didn't know already and coming up empty handed.

For a far better perspective on modern Japan, try Bending Adversity by David Pilling, and for a more authentic look at today's Japanese culture, just watch some anime and read some novels by Japanese writers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars and she loved it! My friends bought the same for their ...
Bought it for my teenage stepdaughter, who's crazy about Japan, and she loved it! My friends bought the same for their daughter (also a teen)... Read more
Published 2 months ago by S KIRSCHLEGER
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the right balance between fun and serious informative!
Read it and enjoyed it a lot, while in Japan. Gave my visit more depth.
Highly recommend it to first timers.
Published 3 months ago by Ali Dabbagh
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my son, who intends on visiting Japan in the future. He loved the book, as it was very informative, covering everything a would be... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Missy me
5.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the delivery
Fab book, very interesting and has whet my appetite for my trip later this year!
Only negative comment is about the delivery, communication was great, I received specifics... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Important guide book
Quite a fascinating read covering everything from the ancient history of Japan through to the modern. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul_ABZ
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone visiting Japan
A great book full of things to see as well as customs in Japan. Good for anyone interested in Japan or planning on visiting Japan.
Published 4 months ago by Keyser Soze
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and Informative!!
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my partner, who LOVES all things Japan. He is very interested in going to Japan and loves the culture, as well as being a bit of an... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jade C
5.0 out of 5 stars A guide to Japan.
A very good introducing for holiday in Japan. I have had a great time in Tokyo twice using the book as my guide to explore Tokyo. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Niels Gjytkjr
5.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable
I really like this book. It has many nice pictures, interesting text, and keeps my attention. I would recommend it to someone who has very little or no knowledge of Japan and/or... Read more
Published 8 months ago by yvaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I bought this book.
I purchased this book for my teenaged grandson who has an ambition to visit, and work for a period in Japan.

He was extremely pleased with his birthday present.
Published 11 months ago by B. Rosser
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