December 01, 2018

Book Review Geisha in Rivalry by Kafu Nagai

Author: Kafu Nagai

Translated by: Kurt Meissner

Publisher Charles Tuttle Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, 1963

ISBN 0293-000141-4615

Pages 206

This is a very interesting novel on a number of levels in terms of historical context and the topic which reveals the inner workings of a geisha house. Probably the most important learning from this novel is the insights gained about the relationship between a business and its customer, The flexibility required, the hiding of ones own feelings, the servitude, the focus and the importance of appearance, speed and detail in very small things. Overall we see the great lengths Japanese culture goes to meet customer needs. We learn the historical aspects of the region of Tokyo where the novel is set, Shimbashi. As a reader we are blessed to capture the feel of the period from the clothing, food and lifestyle, all the way down to the wood of the local bath house.
A fascinating novel, that is light fun and intriguing.

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November 13, 2018

90 percent of Japanese believe robots will replace humans

"Nearly 90% think robots and computers will be doing much of the work currently done by humans in the next half century. Some 83% see this causing greater inequality, 74% believe people will have trouble finding work and 58% think automation will not generate better jobs."

Japanese fear automation will take more jobs than foreigners
Pew survey: Only 15% of adults feel youths will be better off than their parents
ANDREW SHARP, Nikkei Asian Review deputy politics and economy news editor

November 13, 2018 

November 01, 2018

Book Review Footprints in the snow by Kenjiro Tokutomi

Author: Kenjiro Tokutomi

Translator: Kenneth Strong

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, 1971

ISBN: 0293-000247-4615

Pages: 371

A novel about growing up in the Meiji Period

© Copyright. 2016.  All rights reserved,

A novel set in the Meiji period between 1860 and 1900 that reveals the hardships of the time where families lost their fortunes easily and the impact this had on people families and lives.
We learn the about the good and bad sides of relatives, the social impact of dramatic change in society, we gain insights into men’s and women’s worlds, social interactions including arranged marriages, the importance of education in order to get ahead and get noticed. Clothing, food, fashion and social customs of the period. Politics and its impact on everyday people, the need for guarantors for accommodation and the complexity of love in an open environment where people had little privacy.
The tale of one man’s struggle to rebuild his family’s name and wealth.


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