- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Litera; 2 edition (March 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0994193416
- ISBN-13: 978-0994193414
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Japan Dreams: Notes from an Unreal Country Paperback – March 15, 2016
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Mark really engages with the reader. He has the light touch of a natural story-teller and yet, at the same time, manages to introduce fairlyweighty, academic subject-matter without appearing pretentious. Readingcarries you along on Mark's voyage of discovery, gradually peeling backthe layers of this complex, nuanced nation.
Mark has a wonderful eye for character and detail. In one memorableimage he describes a workman vacuuming loose pine-needles from a tree.His chance meeting with the eccentric academics makes another nicelyperceived vignette. Through episodes such as these, Mark conveys a realflavour of Japan, far from the clichéd tourist-brochure world ofcherry-blossoms and geisha.
I particularly responded to Mark's tendency to question everything. Heis constantly analysing what he sees and learns in order to form his own opinions, not simply repeating accepted "truths". He gives some veryperceptive insights into the nature of "reality" in Japan. He notes thevery different attitude the Japanese have to replicas, such as the"ancient" Ise shrine and the value put on the faked autograph of a sumowrestler. Equally fascinating is his perception of the emptiness, the"nothing" that lies at the core of so much in Japan, of Shinto religionand Zen Buddhism, and of the ephemeral beauty which is central toJapanese aesthetics.
About the Author
Mark Peters was born in Sydney in 1957 and has travelled to over forty countries. He has worked as a painter, musician, entrepreneur, businessman, consultant, designer, and researcher in artificial intelligence. He visited Japan many times over several years, and has travelled to all parts of the country. He speaks enough Japanese to significantly increase confusion.
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