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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2014
Quite a fascinating read covering everything from the ancient history of Japan through to the modern. Everything seems well-researched, well informed and - most importantly - interesting to read. All topics are covered from history, through to culture and myths. I've given this book to two friends that have visited Japan and they also found it great.

Only slight negative for me is that because it's a Spanish guy, writing about Japan, in English - it sometimes reads like a school report.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2013
First let me start off by saying I've been to Japan a couple times, studied the language for 3 1/2 years, have a massive interest in Japanese arts and have many Japanese friends. Yet, this book has taught me more about aspects about Japanese culture then my real life experiences there. It's super insightful and honest. When you go over to Japan with these huge expectations that everything is going to be like a bed of roses boy do you get a wake up call and García totally gets this. Now I can look back and see why people behaved the way they did, what was the meaning behind their behaviour and the society as a whole. It was really refreshing. And I learnt so much more not only about Japanese behaviour and the economy but also the history of manga, anime, j-pop and so on. I really enjoyed reading about the different fashion styles. Just wished it was a bit longer.

Needless to say I'm going to be using this book when I plan my next visit to Japan!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2012
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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2012
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2014
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2013
A great book which provides an detailed insight into the wonderful world of Japan. Definitely glad I decided to pick this up!
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on 20 April 2015
Moderately enjoyable and informative but too many tiny chunks of information that don't seem to tell you much. For example, the timetables for people's daily lives in Japan are so generic that they might apply to someone living in England much of the time. As I'm reading on a Kindle the pictures and the travel guide maps aren't large enough to see properly. May be better in a hard copy book.
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on 2 April 2015
Good general background on Japanese culture. However I found a lot of the commentaries to based on hearsay or the writers limited experiences and completely unsubstantiated.

The main problem with this book is the lack of an editor. Or if there was one, he/she did not to a good job. The writing style is very colloquial and whilst grammatically sound, the writing lacks sophistication.
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