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Japan Dreams: Notes from an Unreal Country Paperback – March 15, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
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"Mark conveys a real flavour of Japan, far from the clichéd tourist-brochure world of cherry-blossoms and geisha." - Jan Dodd, author of 'Rough Guide To Japan'. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
From the Back Cover
A traveller comes to Japan and is slowly absorbed into a complex and increasingly unnerving interplay of reality, representation, substitution, the virtual, the artificial, the counterfeit and the unreal.
In form, 'Japan Dreams' is loosely modelled on 'Pillow Book' by Sei Shonagon and 'As I crossed a bridge of dreams' by Lady Sarashina, both written c. 1000 AD. The narrative moves between travelogue, meditation, exploration of ideas, discourse on various subjects, dreams, lists, and introspection.
Fact and fiction become harder to separate as the story unfolds. What starts as straightforward documentary metamorphoses into chaotic self-absorption, and the reader is left examining the very same question examined by the narrator: is this real?--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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Whereas many books look at and comment on either 'Japan' or 'the Japanese', Peters interprets the country through the personal relationships which he forms with the Japanese people who he meets. Of necessity, this approach is at the same time both more idiosyncratic and more revealing than the rather impersonal technique of the more standard texts which I have read. The ending is both abrupt and intriguing, and I was left wondering 'why?, perhaps a sequel might tell us.
If you have an interest in understanding something of Japan, through the Japanese people, then you should read this book, both for what it says, and for the context which it provides.