At Home in Japan

At Home in Japan

A Foreign Woman's Journey of Discovery

Book - 2010
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"This portrait of Japanese country life reminds us that at its core, a happy and healthy life is based on the bonds of food, family, tradition, community, and the richness of nature" --John Einarsen, Founding Editor and Art Director of Kyoto Journal

What would it be like to move to Japan, leaving everyone you know behind, to become part of a traditional Japanese household? At Home in Japan tells an extraordinary true story of a foreign woman who goes through an amazing transformation, as she makes a move from a suburban lifestyle in California to a new life, living in Japan. She dedicates 30 years of her life as a housewife, custodian and chatelaine of a 350-year-old farmhouse in rural Japan.

This astonishing book traces a circular path from were Rebecca began, to living under Japanese customs, from the basic day to day details of life in the house and village, through relationships with family, neighbors and the natural and supernatural entities with which the family shares the house. Rebecca Otowa then focuses on her inner life, touching on some of the pivotal memories of her time in Japan, the lessons in perception that Japan has taught her and the ways in which she has been changed by living in Japan.

An insightful and compelling read, At Home in Japan is a beautifully written and illustrated reminiscence of a once simple life made extraordinary.
Publisher: Tokyo ; North Clarendon, Vt. : Tuttle Pub., c2010.
ISBN: 9784805310786
Branch Call Number: 305.813 OTO
Characteristics: 160 p. :,ill. (some col.), ports. (some col.) ;,24 cm.


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Jun 13, 2018

A beautifully personal account of life in the Japanese countryside from someone raised in California and Australia.

The book is an easy read, divided up into tiny sections which each address an aspect or a quirk of life in rural Japan - whether it's the bugs, the seasons, the celebrations, or the customs. All throughout are little drawings and some family photos which bring the stories to life. Otowa is a smart and forthright writer, but she's also committed herself to her life as a Japanese wife. This combination allows her to give the perspective of an outsider-yet-insider, which is a great way to observe and understand Japan as a foreigner.

When you want to read about Japan, you often have to choose between a shallow traveler's take or a nihilistic sociological perspective. This book is a chance to get a candid and approachable look into an ancient corner of the country.

ser_library Dec 30, 2013

beautifully illustrated personal memoir of life in a 15th century farm house

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