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Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries Paperback – November 29, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't expect great insights or to learn anything new about Japan.
I didn't mind that Tim was self-absorbed,ignorant and clueless at the beginning of the book. One travels to discover and learn. Or some of us do. But the typical chapter in this book will have Tim observing some typically Tokyo scene and then go off into some kind of fantasy riff as if the stuff happening in Tim's head was more real than what he was seeing. Worse, the fantasy seemed to shut off his natural curiosity about what he saw so he remained ignorant and was never driven to find out why.
At only one point did he come close to grasping an essential difference between Japan and America and that was in the chapter on karaoke. He notes that Americans hog the microphone playing the big star that they see in their heads. Then he talks about going out drunk with a group of Japanese who when one person sang would act like the back up singers/musical group. And he got into it--he liked being part of the group with everybody participating...but it didn't lead him to a better understanding of the importance of the group to the Japanese persona. At the end of the chapter he declares his intention of continuing to hog the microphone in the American Way.Read more ›
Unfortunately, it kind of let me down. The writing, for me, was hard to follow. There were times when Mr. Anderson would launch into detailed fantasies mid-story. A lot of the times, it was hard to distinguish what he was actually seeing and doing and what he was just fantasizing about. Another thing that made the book hard to read was the use of really really long, detailed sentences that used several examples and descriptions and references all crammed into an incredibly long run-on-esque sentence that when I was in junior high and high school my teachers would always berate me about and threaten me with certain death unless I beat it into my poor hormonal, adolescent brain that it was wrong and I avoided them at all costs. <<< Kind of like that.
The result of this made want to fast forward to the end of several paragraphs to bypass all of the (at times) unnecessary description and fluff.
As for the content, I laughed a few times and I think the author was spot on in his description of certain things. Other times, I found myself raising an eyebrow at what I was reading. I felt a lot of times that I was just reading a big gay stereotype. Some of the references in the book maybe outdate me (sorry!), but it just felt like he was turning himself into a gay caricature to make a point.
Usually when moving to a new country and living there for an extended period of time, you change as a person. I didn't really get that from this book. If there was any self-realization or maturing, it didn't come through very strongly.Read more ›
I'm a fan of Japanese culture (three ex-girlfriends who were Jaoanese, JPOP and the cuisine, mostly) and over the years I've become educated in some of the "inside" details of the culture, like "kawaii" ("cute," but in a sugary, adolescent, "Hello Kitty" kind of way). I've also read Christopher Seymour's Yakuza Diary: Doing Time in the Japanese Underworld...which I highly recommend...because it's a book that balances the sunnier, goofy, sweetly eccentric aspects of the culture emphasized in Anderson's book with the more harsh, stark, day-to-day realities of life in Japan.
There are three kinds of "gaijins" who go to Japan in an attempt to immerse themselves in the culture:
1). The outsider. They arrive an outsider, remain an outsider, and leave an outsider
2). Those who "fit in," with varying degrees of success, primarily via making themselves "useful" (such as teaching English)
3). What Anderson describes as a "Japanger"..."the overwhelming feeling of frustration and displeasure, usually of Western people living in Japan, resulting from doing daily battle with the sometimes maddening idiosyncrasies and inscrutable behaviors of the Japanese people."
Where does Anderson, as a "gaijin" from the American South, fit into this picture? At different times during his adventure, he experiences a little of all three categories.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. I love that it was not about sexual conquests or about judging those he taught. He presents life abroad with a love and honey moon feeling that makes you want... Read morePublished 13 days ago by calmingeffects
One of the funniest stories I've read! It gives you an insight into modern Japanese culture as it tells the story of a young man who takes a job in Tokyo teaching English. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Cullen
Both entertaining and inciteful. An entertaining view of the most polite xenophobes in the worldPublished 2 months ago by faithful reder
Can't wait to see if the "guide" to Tokyo pays off, but even if it doesn't, it was still hilariousPublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
Once again, a down-to-earth, hilarious book by Tim Anderson, who doesn't take himself too seriously.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed this book a lot. Tim shared very funny observations about life in Japan, both as a Gaijin and also as a gay man. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Reader
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this is my favourite of all the 'quirky Japan travelogue' books that are out there. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dan
Recently I got addicted to Japanese manga and my Kindle now overfloweth with much shojo drama cuteness. I was already a Chelsea Handler fan and have her books digitally dogearred. Read morePublished 5 months ago by LilyBook