12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Making Sense of Japanese (Paperback)
No serious study of Japanese as a second language is complete without at least a passing familiarity with this short work. The style is anecdotal and humourous, not to mention modest, but don't let that fool you as to the seriousness of the scholarship that underpins it. The editors at Kodansha are no fools and recognise a classic when they see it.
I believe it to be worth the price for the discussion of the author's (massively illuminating to my poor mind) concept of the "zero pronoun" and its effect on the perennial problem of "wa" and "ga" alone. I can't think of any single work that has furthered my understanding of Japanese sentence structure more than this book. And on top of that, you could almost consider it to be the Japanese language study equivalent of "Chicken Soup For The Soul" (yes, I keep my copy in the bathroom). It may be a short work, but it's immensely re-readable - like those chicken bones, there always seems to be a little more goodness to be gotten out it.
I agree it's not for everyone, and it is to some extent academically controversial, but I think only the most rigid and conventional thinker could fail to gain something valuable from it.