I never have been a fan of books on culture. However, I would highly recommend this book to whoever is interested in paying a visit to Japan, or even to those who have been living here a long time. As for myself I have been living here for 2 years and I still found this book informative and have learned a thing or two about Japan.
My Awesome Japan Adventure is about a fifth grader Dan carrying out his four-month trip to Japan. During his stay with his Japanese friend Daisuke, he recorded everything he learned about the country.
It is actually amusing to look at Japan from a Westerner kid’s perspective. As I come from another Asian country Taiwan where we share some similar culture with Japan, things like kanji and shodo are already familiar for me that I never thought of questioning them. But interestingly, I found that learning these things again with Dan, I do get to know my culture better too. I love how Dan comment on things, such as stating that people dozing off in trains might be a national hobby for Japanese people, or using only a single word to describe his first Japanese style breakfast which is “Salty”. I literally found myself nodding and laughing while reading the book. In fact, not only are the texts playful, they are also supported by suitably expressive illustrations that make the book a fun feast for the eyes.
Reading the book naturally brought back the memories of my first visit to Japan. At that time I was just about Dan’s age, although Japan is only a 3 hour flight from home, everything seemed so foreign to me. I remember I was astounded by the ticket machine where you can buy ramen tickets at the door before entering the shop and the automatic coin dispensing machines which they used in supermarket. So actually, my first impression toward Japanese people are that they are pretty lazy, but smart at the same time to invent those kind of high-tech machines to help them deal with troublesome tasks.
Nowadays, I rarely found myself enthralled by the things happening around me. I often blamed it to the fact that I have got too used to the life here. Even so, looking through another visitor's eyes I could found what Dan wrote interesting. Perhaps if I pay closer attention to the things around me, there is actually a lot more to discover in this city. After all, age shouldn’t be an excuse of turning me into a boring person right, Dan?
To find out more this book can be purchased from Amazon.