Sahoko Kaji is a much travelled economist and university professor. When at home, she enjoys the genial nature of the people and the fact that things work. When abroad, she revels in Western emancipation and independence but constantly finds herself checking that the taxi will indeed be coming to take her to the airport. Apart from this typically Japanese desire for precision, she has been influenced by the cultures of both East and West for so long that she has accepted she belongs to neither and simply floats somewhere in the middle. Noriko Hama works for a Japanese multinational. An economist and author with a special interest in economic developments in Europe, she lived in Britain from the age of 8 to 12, after which she was plunged back into the Japanese education system. In the 1990s her job returned her to London for a further 8 years. She is frequently invited by television and radio to give her views on European and Far Eastern economic affairs which she attributes to her belief that to achieve recognition in her profession you have to be convinced that you are right and that everyone else is wrong. She works hard to give this impression. Jonathan Rice is a management consultant who specialises in explaining Japanese business style and tactics to Europeans - and vice versa. Involved with Japan since his schooldays in Tokyo, he has headed a British electronics company in Japan, climbed Mount Fuji, judged the Yamaha World Popular Song Contest and competed as Japan's leading bowler in the 1972 cricket season. He loves noodles and hanami but can live without Japanese electioneering and tamagotchi.
'I'm Japanese and I like it. Many things in this little book are frighteningly so true. Entertaining, well observed and fairly evaluated from the Western cultural perspective. It's not really a 'guide book' as such. Instead, it gives you a brilliant cultural comparison, their mentality and the physical environment that affects their world view. If you are going to stay in Japan for more than 1 month and hoping to mingle with local people, this book would give you some subtle but really important insights to the 'why' of their behaviours. Like any other value system, the Japanese culture was like an invisible & odourless gas that I was breathing without knowing it - till I read this book.' -- Review from a Japanese now in the UK 'This book is simply excellent... In addition to being humorous, it is also accurate, insightful and comprehensive. I have been studying Japan for as long as most, but even so I was able to discover points I had overlooked and explanations that had not occurred to me.' -- Reviewer from London, UK 'I've been living in Japan for about two years now, and while you can learn more by going through several longer, more extensive books, for a single guide that offers an irreverent explanation of a very difficult country to understand, the Xenophobe's Guide to the Japanese is solid.' -- Reviewer from a Briton in Japan 'This book talks about the Japanese culture from a variety of perspectives and discusses a wide range of topics, such as education, lack of street names and the language. It gives a comic introduction to the culture and certainly makes the reader intrigued to learn more about them. I am definitely going to get my hands on other books of the series and learn about other countries!' -- Review from 'Tiija'