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A Book About Japan?

This is a request for a bit of help. If you have done any reading on Japan, is there an introductory, non-academic book that you would recommend? I am looking for something that would cover a bit of the culture, etiquette, history, and perhaps even language. This is for a group of students I am preparing for a trip to Japan.

Because I grew up in Japan, I have never read a book just about Japan. I have read history books. I have read books written by Japanese people. I have read books in Japanese. And now I do have a short list of books I am planning to read to see how I like them, but if you have any to add to that list I am open to suggestions.


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In the movie, neither the illegal (representative of all illegals, but particularly those with upright motives) nor the police (representative of the legal system, including courts, prisons, and immigration) is entirely at fault. Both are stuck in an imperfect, human system.

The viewer is led to sympathize with the illegal man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He's away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart from the social issue of t…


Read this in English.





今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。