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A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony Paperback – June 10, 2011
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"Everyone who is interested in Japan will find this book fascinating." —Larry Ellison, cofounder and CEO, Oracle Corporation
"Comprehensive and well informed, A Geek in Japan covers a wide array of topics in short articles accompanied by numerous photographs, providing a lively digest of the society and culture of Japan." —Japan Today
"Hector and I share a deep interest and affection for all things Japanese. But in my case, I only get to enjoy Japan on my business trips. Back in Spain, I like to keep in touch. And that I do reading kirainet, 'A geek in Japan.' Now you can do the same. And in book format. Enjoy!" —Martin Varsavsky, entrepreneur, founder of Fon and Safe Democracy Foundation
"Filled with a load of photos and information about Japan—a must read." —Danny Choo, Tokyo entrepreneur and owner of www.dannychoo.com
"One of the funniest and yet most accurate descriptions of modern Japanese culture that I've ever seen. Highly recommended!" —Joichi Ito, director, MIT Media Lab
"The geek in Japan of the title is of course Garcia. He has written a sharp and concise guide to Japan. It is comprehensive and well done. Among many topics, A Geek in Japan covers traditional culture, history, character, work, society, manga & anime, music, movies & television, Tokyo, and visiting the rest of Japan. This is a book by and for Japanophiles. Each section comes with photos, sidebars, and the knowledge of a long-time Japanhand. Very well done." —Japan Visitor
"While not a traditional guidebook, A Geek in Japan certainly makes a reader want to hop on a plane to experience everything firsthand." —San Francisco Book Review
"Hector Garcia's A Geek in Japan is a lightweight but enjoyable romp through modern Japanese culture, seen through the eyes of its writer, an amazingly inquisitive young Spaniard living in Tokyo." —Lonely Planet
About the Author
Hector Garcia was born in Spain, in 1981. After earning his MS in software engineering and working at CERN in Switzerland, he moved to Japan, where he worked on voice recognition software and later for Digital Garage, developing the technology needed for Silicon Valley startups like Twitter and Technorati to enter the Japanese market. He has been living in Tokyo since 2004 and is the creator of the popular blog www.kirainet.com
Top customer reviews
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Along the way you learn a few words and terms and what they stand for. Some interesting cultural behaviors like Honne and Tatemae, which don't translate very well in Western terms but in general explain a lot about the people. of Japan. Other cultural topics explored include Bushido, the Real Geisha, Martial Arts, Zen, and the use of the Swastika called the Manji symbol in Japan. It explained the use of wearing masks, which I though was just not to spread germs, but is mainly used as a filter for all the pollen released in cherry blossom season. Food and other pastimes are explained as well, each in a nice concise little story fashion conducive to easy reading.
They also explore the culture I like the manga, and the anime, and the craziness of it all. The festivals, the shrines and what the different beliefs represent. It does this all is such a way, it's like reading a good book you can't put down. The book does a nice job of weaving its tales through a historical perspective of Japanese history and without being boring doing so. Highly recommended for anyone looking to learn more about Japan or just someone who likes other cultures. Be forewarned if you know nothing about Japan and you read this book, you can be their will likely be a trip to Japan in your future.
If you are looking for a traditional guidebook to Japan, Fodor's has an excellent offering (I have theirs too,) but if you want a more youthful guide to contemporary Japan that is entertaining while still being useful, "A Geek in Japan" will be certain to pique your interest.
If you are going to Japan I'd consider this a must read when you are planning your trip. I spent two weeks in Tokyo and this book was incredibly useful. The last chapter is basically a tour guide written from a local's perspective. It's organized by neighborhoods with all sorts of recommendations.