I’m doing my research on Japan as I am planning to go there soon. Ha! Who knows when though! This book has been quite handy in learning more about the country and Japanese culture.
Actually, I studied Japanese when I was in college and uni. And despite the intense study of the Japanese language (in particular the writing system – I struggled with that!) I did not learn much about the general culture. I studied Japanese history, which I found fascinating and enjoyable – but I honestly don’t remember doing or choosing a unit about Modern Japan. Reading this book has made up for that lack of knowledge.
So I guess this is more of a general outline of Japanese culture and society. You’d read about food, art, entertainment, sport, places and health. It’s really a positive view of Japan. It doesn’t go to the nitty gritty of it all – like why you have to carry your own rubbish everywhere or why there aren’t any dryers or paper towels in Japanese toilets and what to do about these inconsequential dilemmas.
So if you’re planning to go to Japan or you just want to dream or reminisce then this is quite a good read to whet your appetite. It contains lots of photos and minimal text. A note to the editors though – perhaps you should have put this through the spell checker before printing and publishing it – this book has a lot of typos!