🌸Japanese Customer : Review


Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

January 12, 2024

Audio Book: 🎧 There is no such thing as a an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura

Review by JapaneseCustomer.com:

"Kikuko has created an amazing insight from the worker's view of a range of temporary jobs she shares with us. For example: A bus company, a rice cracker company, and a hut in a park perforating tickets for an event. 

What stood out when I listened was the holistic detail provided by the employee at each job, for example: how she got the job from the temporary recruitment agency, how it was sold by the recruiter, why she was put forward, her initial impression, her first day, her bosses and co-workers, what the role entailed, the highs and lows of the role, the psychological impact, the relationships, the silence, how she thought of the job when away from the office, boss relationship and what type of person they were (could they be trusted, etc), co-workers were they real or fake and was the relationship tainted by the nature of her role, the role itself and her relationship with the boss. 

Plus you also get the complexity of the culture in language, body language, rituals, customs, etc. It feels like you are actually in the job. 

You are seeing, hearing, and feeling the whole job. On audiobook, this is magnified by the voice of the narrator which adds a whole new level of depth to the stories and your overall experience of the topic. 

A very insightful and powerful story of temporary work from the worker's holistic view, wow!

 Buy the Audio Book here 

#japanesecustomer #author #audiobook #kikukotsumura #novel #japan #japaneseliterature #english #review🎧


May 09, 2022

Book Review: 🌸 Geisha in Rivalry by Kafu Nagai

maiko in japan #japanesecustomer

Photo: Maiko in Japan 

Author: Kafu Nagai 
Translated by: Kurt Meissner
Publisher: Charles Tuttle Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, 1963
ISBN:  0293-000141-4615

Reviewed by JapaneseCustomer.com. 2022. All Rights Reserved.

"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 one's 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 bathhouse.

A fascinating novel, that is light fun, and intriguing

Review is Copyright JapaneseCustomer.com. All Rights Reserved, 2022.

Book Review - Geisha in Rivalry by Kafu Nagai

March 28, 2022

Book Review: 🌸 Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino

                                                              Book: Silent Parade

Author: Keigo Higashino

Translated by: Giles Murray

Year: 2018

Pages: 344

ISBN: 978 -1-4087-1497



"This novel is set in west Tokyo in Kikuno.

 The family runs a local restaurant and has two daughters but one disappears suddenly while pursuing her dream of singing.

The suspect for her disappearance is well known to the police for a past unsolved crime.

Detectives find themselves at a loss of what to do but Professor Yukawa slowly and masterfully tries to piece together the scene.

 We learn about piano training in adolescence, that Japan still has a death penalty, address changes are registered at the local ward office, as is the head of the household, no privacy at hoe as everyone knows your business whether you want them to or not, superstition’s of getting rid of evil by throwing salt, why men and women click their tongue, the role, and impact of mother in-laws in a traditional Japanese marriage, food such as kaki fry, isshoubin sake battles and takiawase (Professor Yukawa’s favourite dish).


Higashino has a great storytelling method which will leave you hooked until the last page."

                 Book Review by JapaneseCustomer.com All Rights Reserved. 2022. 



July 06, 2020

Book Review: Tokyo Island by Natsuo Kirino

Natsuo Kirino’s short story is based on a small unnamed island in the Pacific ocean. Kiyoko a forty-six year old woman is preparing for her wedding to her fourth husband today. An island ritual takes place every two years and the men on the island enter a lottery that is made up of seashells. As the only woman on the island she prepares for the day and imagines her new future.

’But Kiyoko was the star, no matter where she went. People on the island studied her every move, doing their best to stay in her good graces and win her attention’’

August 31, 2019

Book Review Real World by Natsuo Kirino

Book Review -  Real World by Natsuo Kirino

Book Blurb 

''In a crowded Tokyo suburb, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer. When one of them, Toshi, discovers that her next-door neighbor has been brutally murdered, the girls suspect the killer is the neighbor's son. But when he flees, taking Toshi's bike and cell phone with him, the four girls get caught up in a tempest of dangers that arise from within them as well as from the world around them. Psychologically intricate and astute, Real World is a searing, eye-opening portrait of teenage life in Japan unlike any we have seen before.''

Pages: 208

Best quotes

''When I was young there were times I wanted to kill my old man and some of my teachers - but I never thought of killing my mum''  p29.

''Whenever I ran across her at the station, she'd nod a hello, but for some reason, I couldn't nod back. I know you might think that's no big deal, but I started to feel inferior to her'' p77

'' The women who gave birth to me, raised me, ordered me around, yelled at me, turned me into a sex maniac, who complained all the time, was dead'' p85.

''Early on the morning of August tenth, our home phone rang. It had to be either a salesman or a relative. Other people would just call each of our cellphones, which made a phone call coming in the morning all the more ominous'' p188

Natsuo Kirino captures the heartbeat of real urban Japan the fear, anxiety, paranoia and deep cultural mindset that sets the scene for all actions. In this novel, she fully exposes the different worlds of men and women that is molded by different values, beliefs, and customs. In fact, they are so far apart it seems crazy how they could ever connect. 

The pressure of trying to be perfect, associating with brand names, showing off, competing with your neighbours, putting up with crazy rules that make no sense and the boredom of life as a teenager with no money, living with your parents and having to follow all their weird practices explodes in violence during the stifling high humidity of a Japanese summer. Mole the teenage nickname of Toshi's neighbor gets pushed by his Mum just one step too far, he reacts with his metal baseball bat and the outcome is tragic. 

He then runs and Toshi and her three girlfriends help him out while he is on the run. Natsuo Kirino digs deep into the culture to reveal the fears, insecurities and broken thought processes that fill teenagers heads when they have to deal with something serious and important like death and murder. They avoid it and focus on the fun like kids do.

Raw, gritty and edgy, a  story that one can imagine is straight out of the newspaper but filled in with a background that you never get, as it only runs for a few days and disappears into oblivion with all the other crazy crimes.

August 01, 2018

Book Review Diary of a Mad Old Man by Junichiro Tanizaki

Author: Junichiro Tanizaki

Translator: Howard Hibbert

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1988.

ISBN: 019-282137-7 Pages: 177

Insights into the challenges of aging in Japan

© Copyright. JApaneseCustomer.com, 2016. All rights reserved,

A light funny and insightful novel that reveals the daily diary of a seventy seven year old gentleman and the challenges of old age as he battles pains and aches in his arms and legs and the effects of a mild stroke.

His obsession with his son’s wife adds a spice to the story as he tries to find situations where he can be with here, touch her and instruct her to do things he desires.

While his wife and family look on and don’t blink at his sexual desires and continue on unabated.

We learn of the complexities of family life and the strained relationships between siblings, husband and wife and the staff who assist the family such as a live in nurse.

japan, japanese, literature, book review, diary of a mad old man, junichiro tanizaki, #japan, #culture, ##japanese, #literature

July 01, 2018

Book Review The Buddha Tree by Fumio Niwa

Book Review  The Buddha Tree by Fumio Niwa

Author: Fumio Niwa

Translator: Kenneth Strong

Publisher: Charles Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan.1968

ISBN: 0-8048-0995-X Pages: 380

Life inside a Buddhist Temple

© Copyright. JapaneseCustomer.com, 2016. All rights reserved,

Set in a rural town in Japan, a priest of a historic temple finds himself in a spot of trouble that has built itself up over a number of years and he now is faced to deal with it. A strong set of characters build the scene and plot.

We learn the inner workings of a Buddhist temple, how people live, their daily life and the jobs involved with the temple and the interaction with parishioners. We gain a snapshot of Japanese culture, customs and rituals and the norms of the period.

A light novel that will keep your interest as you learn about people, institutions, customs and culture in a warm, charming way. Fumio Niwa is a great storyteller.


Book Review, The Buddha Tree, Fumio Niwa, japan, japanese, consumer, customer, @jcustomers, www.japanesecustomer.com, japanese literature, novel, #japan, #japanese, #literature, #customer, #review

June 08, 2018

Book Review Beyond The Curve by Kobo Abe

Book Review

Beyond The Curve by Kobo Abe

Author: Kobo Abe

Translator: Juliet Winters Carpenter

Publisher: Kodansha Amer Inc (February 1993)

ISBN: 978-4770016904 Pages: 248

A powerful selection of short stories

© Copyright. JapaneseCustomer.com, 2016. All rights reserved,

A superb collection of twelve short stories by the master writer Kobo Abe. The book starts with “An irrelevant death” when a man finds a dead body in his room in a boarding house and we have a front row view of his thought processes as he decides what to do in Japan. In the West we would just call the police. In “The crime of S. Karma” we learn about the life of a insurance salesman who loses his identity to his business card. The story “Dendrocacalia” shares what it is like for a man who once a year transforms into a plant and the anguish he faces.

Standout stories include: “Record of a transformation” about the horror of war but not as you may think and “Intruders” which is simple but shockingly powerful in its reality, “The Bet” where an architect learns first hand the intricate requirements of a client by visiting his office which is just hilarious.

If you enjoy the work of Kobo Abe you will definitely enjoy this new collection of English language translated short stories.

japan, japanese, customer, lifestyle, culture, insights, literature, beyond the curve, kobo abe, book review, #japan, #japanese, #literature

April 01, 2018

Book Review - The Memory Book By Jerry Lucas

Book  Review – The Memory Book

Author: Jerry Lucas & Harold Lorayne
Publisher: Ballantine, Random House, New York, USA, 1974.
ISBN: 0-345-33758-1
Pages: 206.

An essential tool for improving your memory

Copyright, 2012, JapaneseCustomer.com. All rights reserved,

The book opens with a foreword from Jerry Lucas who recalls his childhood, how Harold Lorayne was one of his idols and how he used his memory methods at school and did very well in his grades. The book is a series of 27 chapters that recall the first meeting between the two and cover a wide range of topics, insights, practical exercises & techniques

Anyone who reads the book will benefit as the skills will enhance your everyday life skills. For language learners chapter 7 has some great techniques.

where memory is concerned, an entity consists of two things.. a definition or meaning to a word” p 39

“…foreign word is changed to a definite tangible picture in the mind

* It is a paperback so it is small, light & easy to carry meaning that you can read it anywhere.
* The book gets started early with simple, easy to understand, practical memory skills
* Good range of topics & techniques – tips for putting names to faces, remembering speeches and important information.

* Not enough time to read, practice & fully explore all that is in this book

* A very useful, practical & simple way to improve your memory. Techniques are easy to apply and use in your daily life

Book  Review – The Memory Book

#japanesecustomer, #bookreview, #japan, #memory, #howto, @jcustomers, the memory book, jerry lucas, harold lorayne, www.japanesecustomer.com