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Japan Reading
The Donald Richie Reader:
50 Years of Writing on Japan

compiled and edited by Arturo Silva
Ritchie is perhaps the best informed, most eloquent foreigner yet to visit Japan. This is a survey of his time here, through a wide range of his writings. (February 2001)
Memories of Silk and Straw
by Junichi Saga
Excellent series of short interviews and profiles of aging Japanese from the 1990s. Life in rural Japan around the turn of the century was brutish, manual laboring, deprived, and not without its pleasures and great personalities. A touching and remarkable counterpoint to the modern Japanese metropolis most visitors see today. (January 2001)
Office Ladies and Salaried Men Office Ladies and Salaried Men
by Yuko Ogasawara
Many young women in Japan work as "Office Ladies." What exactly does that work entail, and what power do these women weild in the Japanese workplace? (December 2001)
Donald Richie's Tokyo Tokyo: A View of The City
by Donald Richie
The compressed experience of one of the world's most well-versed Tokyo foreigners. (December 2001)
Japanese Beyond Words:
How to Walk and Talk Like a Native Speaker

by Andrew Horvat
A series of short pieces offering advice about getting by in Japan. Contains the insight (I've heard before) that the best way to learn Japanese is to study grammer before going to Japan. (December 2001)
For Men With Yen For Men With Yen
by by Alan Rosenberg & W.J. O'Neill
Two American men come to Japan in the 1960s to sample and explain the hostess clubs, complete with comical illustrations. (December 2001)
Modern Madame Butterfly The Modern Madame Butterfly
by Karen Ma
A Chinese lady examines and excoriates relationships between Japanese Women and American Men. (November 2001)
Village Japan Village Japan
by Malcolm Ritchie
A middle-aged British Buddhist fellow lives in a fishing and farming village in western Japan.(November 2001)
Speed Tribes Speed Tribes
by Karl Taro Greenfeld
Twelve profiles of fictionalized young folks epitomizing the cultural and social change seizing Tokyo in the mid-to-late 1990s.(November 2001)
Underground Underground
by Haruki Murakami
Interviews with victims of the Tokyo subway sarin gas attacks and members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult.(October 2001)
A Poisonous Cocktail
by Ian Reader
An academic study of the religious practices and sociopathy of the Aum Shinrikyo cult written very shortly after their sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subways.(October 2001)
index.html Dogs and Demons
by Alex Kerr
A relentless attack on modern Japan, as it has savaged the tradition and land from which it emerged.
index.html Confucius Lives Next Door
by T.R. Reid
An American writer living in Tokyo with his family celebrates the Asian "Social Miracle." (July 2001)
index.html Life and Death of Yukio Mishima
by Henry Scott Stokes
The later affairs of this famous author and lifestyle artiste is detailed, shedding some light on nationalism and a writer's life and mind. (June 2001)
index.html Sony: The Private Life
by John Nathan
Fantastic articulate biograpy of Sony. The author had incredible access to very high level people, accordingly, the stories behind new product launches and design decisions are peppered with the dense stuff of relationships and commentary from Sony people on the differences between American and Japanese ways of doing business. Sony has done amazing things, making consumer electronics into lifestyle products. According to this text, that is due largely to the will of some insightful leaders to bridge the gap between America and Japan. The clashes between businessmen from either side of the Pacific illuminate the similarities and differences between those types of people. In addition, there are fascinating stories of how they created the market for personal listening devices - for example, Walkmen were to be called "Sound Around" in the US. (2000)

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