Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
on 9 August 2014
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.