A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir

A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir

A classic memoir of self-invention in a strange land: Ian Buruma's unflinching account of his amazing journey into the heart of Tokyo's underground culture as a young man in the 1970's When Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo in 1975, Japan was little more than an idea in his mind, a fantasy of a distant land. A sensitive misfit in the world of his upper middleclass youth, what he A classic memoir of self-invention in a strange land: Ian Buruma's unflinching account of his amazing journey into the...

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Title:A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir
Author:Ian Buruma
Rating:
Genres:Cultural
ISBN:1101981415
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:256 pages pages

A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir Reviews

  • Tosh
    Mar 29, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

  • Anthony
    Jul 02, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

    2.5 stars. It was promising in the beginning and I endured because I lived in Japan around the same time the author was there, so places and people he mentioned were familiar. But for those who have never been to Tokyo or Japan, it would be rather boring as he spends on Japanese films ...

    One of the best memoirs of a place and time that I've ever read. His observational abilities are excellent. If you've been a student travelling and living in a foreign country, this will speak to you. He also followed many avant garde performers during his time there which is also very...

    NYRB editor's memoir of time spent in Japan, initially as an exchange student at Nihon University, embedded in the country's avant garde theater and film scene. Not really a primer on the arts scene of the time, but enough to provoke interest in the works of Kara Juro, Donald Richie, a...

  • Jim Coughenour
    Mar 13, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

  • Marija S.
    Sep 09, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

  • Sara
    Mar 24, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

  • Jenny T.
    Mar 10, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

  • Stephen Durrant
    Apr 21, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

  • Susanne
    Jun 08, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

    2.5 stars. It was promising in the beginning and I endured because I lived in Japan around the same time the author was there, so places and people he mentioned were familiar. But for those who have never been to Tokyo or Japan, it would be rather boring as he spends on Japanese films ...

    One of the best memoirs of a place and time that I've ever read. His observational abilities are excellent. If you've been a student travelling and living in a foreign country, this will speak to you. He also followed many avant garde performers during his time there which is also very...

    NYRB editor's memoir of time spent in Japan, initially as an exchange student at Nihon University, embedded in the country's avant garde theater and film scene. Not really a primer on the arts scene of the time, but enough to provoke interest in the works of Kara Juro, Donald Richie, a...

    I found the book enjoyable, but the title misleading. I was expecting more about the relationship of the author with the city. Instead it dealt more with his interactions with people within the avant-garde theater scene as well as travels within the country. Still very interesting, bu...

    Quite a story, though occasionally a bit tedious. Best for those with an interest in modern Japan & Japanese theatre history. ...

  • Riet
    Jun 30, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

  • Marianne Meyers
    May 10, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

    2.5 stars. It was promising in the beginning and I endured because I lived in Japan around the same time the author was there, so places and people he mentioned were familiar. But for those who have never been to Tokyo or Japan, it would be rather boring as he spends on Japanese films ...

    One of the best memoirs of a place and time that I've ever read. His observational abilities are excellent. If you've been a student travelling and living in a foreign country, this will speak to you. He also followed many avant garde performers during his time there which is also very...

  • Gayle Zawilla
    Feb 22, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

  • Books on Asia
    Oct 31, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

  • Patricia
    Jun 09, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

  • Adriana
    Mar 02, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

  • Lyn Elliott
    Nov 27, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

  • Charlie
    Mar 18, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

  • M.R. Dowsing
    Oct 07, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

    2.5 stars. It was promising in the beginning and I endured because I lived in Japan around the same time the author was there, so places and people he mentioned were familiar. But for those who have never been to Tokyo or Japan, it would be rather boring as he spends on Japanese films ...

    One of the best memoirs of a place and time that I've ever read. His observational abilities are excellent. If you've been a student travelling and living in a foreign country, this will speak to you. He also followed many avant garde performers during his time there which is also very...

    NYRB editor's memoir of time spent in Japan, initially as an exchange student at Nihon University, embedded in the country's avant garde theater and film scene. Not really a primer on the arts scene of the time, but enough to provoke interest in the works of Kara Juro, Donald Richie, a...

    I found the book enjoyable, but the title misleading. I was expecting more about the relationship of the author with the city. Instead it dealt more with his interactions with people within the avant-garde theater scene as well as travels within the country. Still very interesting, bu...

    Quite a story, though occasionally a bit tedious. Best for those with an interest in modern Japan & Japanese theatre history. ...

    Interesting personal experience of Japan in late 70s and 80s. ...

    Very interesting and well-written book about the author's experience of being a foreigner in Tokyo in the 1970s and hanging around with a theatrical troupe of eccentrics. ...

  • Carla Patterson
    Sep 03, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

  • Nels Highberg
    Jul 30, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

  • Marjan Kloosterman
    Jun 28, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

  • Mich
    Sep 23, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

  • Stephen Douglas Rowland
    Jun 13, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

  • Jim Coleman
    Apr 04, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

  • Jojo Cho
    Oct 12, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

    2.5 stars. It was promising in the beginning and I endured because I lived in Japan around the same time the author was there, so places and people he mentioned were familiar. But for those who have never been to Tokyo or Japan, it would be rather boring as he spends on Japanese films ...

    One of the best memoirs of a place and time that I've ever read. His observational abilities are excellent. If you've been a student travelling and living in a foreign country, this will speak to you. He also followed many avant garde performers during his time there which is also very...

    NYRB editor's memoir of time spent in Japan, initially as an exchange student at Nihon University, embedded in the country's avant garde theater and film scene. Not really a primer on the arts scene of the time, but enough to provoke interest in the works of Kara Juro, Donald Richie, a...

    I found the book enjoyable, but the title misleading. I was expecting more about the relationship of the author with the city. Instead it dealt more with his interactions with people within the avant-garde theater scene as well as travels within the country. Still very interesting, bu...

    Quite a story, though occasionally a bit tedious. Best for those with an interest in modern Japan & Japanese theatre history. ...

    Interesting personal experience of Japan in late 70s and 80s. ...

  • Mary Ellen
    Jul 14, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

  • Sam Law
    Apr 13, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

  • Jacques Thielen
    Sep 10, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

  • Kent
    Jul 03, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

    2.5 stars. It was promising in the beginning and I endured because I lived in Japan around the same time the author was there, so places and people he mentioned were familiar. But for those who have never been to Tokyo or Japan, it would be rather boring as he spends on Japanese films ...

    One of the best memoirs of a place and time that I've ever read. His observational abilities are excellent. If you've been a student travelling and living in a foreign country, this will speak to you. He also followed many avant garde performers during his time there which is also very...

    NYRB editor's memoir of time spent in Japan, initially as an exchange student at Nihon University, embedded in the country's avant garde theater and film scene. Not really a primer on the arts scene of the time, but enough to provoke interest in the works of Kara Juro, Donald Richie, a...

    I found the book enjoyable, but the title misleading. I was expecting more about the relationship of the author with the city. Instead it dealt more with his interactions with people within the avant-garde theater scene as well as travels within the country. Still very interesting, bu...

  • Kaoru Cruz
    Sep 02, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...

    This is a memoir, by the editor of the New York Review of Books, which takes us largely to his life in Japan, between 1975 and 1981. Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read Summary A restless, bored, middle-class youth in the Netherlands, Buruma felt that he never ...

    This is a memoir. A subjective, peculiar, artsy, anecdotal recollection of the author's youth, a rambling search for outlines of his own identity in a city that de facto does not exist anymore. Anyone picking it up with expectations to be presented with a flattering, familiar picture b...

    Gaijn, buitenstaander zijn en blijven in Japan. Als Gaijn kan je het leven met kalme onthechting observeren zonder aan iemand iets verplicht te zijn, vertelt Donald Richie, een Amerikaan die jaren in Japan woont, en Buruma inwijdt in de Japanse cultuur en kunstwereld. Ian Buruma vert...

    This book was an easy read, and it was well-enough written, giving some interesting insights on Japanese culture and what was happening socially in Tokyo in the late 70's. Ian Buruma lived in Japan for 6 years, but he says he didn't keep a diary and he didn't write many letters during ...

    Quite interesting to hear about people and places I am familiar with due to my own time learning Japanese language and culture... but also, to read about aspects of the art and theater scene I would never have been aware of. I totally understand the Gaijin disease even though I never l...

    3.5 stars ?You know,? he said, before we parted company at the Hongo subway station, ?you have to be a romantic to live in Japan. A person who feels complete, who does not question who he is, or his place in the world, will dislike it here. To be constantly exposed to such a r...

    Having lived and study in Japan, I initially had trouble relating to the author's engagement in the Tokyo arts community and the seeming view that it represented a foreigner's typical experience in Japan. There is an objective, nonchalance description of some disturbing art he experien...

    Ik het het boek uitgelezen, en sommige stukken waren wel ok maar .... zucht.... Ik had me er zo op verheugd.... Een boek over japan... van een vermaard Essayist die er 6 jaar gewoond heeft. Ik had gehoopt om de "tover" de "magie" te ervaren... maar het werd een koude realiteit. Niet om...

    In dit boek een heel andere kant van de schrijver Buruma. Als jonge student woont hij 6 jaar in Japan, van 1975 tot 1981. Dat is de tijd van het surrealistische theater en film. Hij dompelt zich onder in het milieu van acteurs, schrijvers en filmmakers. De intentie is om helemaal thuis...

    Other reviews say the author has written these things before in his other works, but this was my first encounter with him. Maybe the other books are better, but I'm wary. Perhaps it's not fair I wanted a deeper portrait of Japan, but I felt like I read a lot of well-told gossip about a...

    Buruma laat een wereld zien die ik niet had verwacht in het Tokio van de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw. De andere kijk op erotiek, sexualiteit en de mogelijkheden deze publiekelijk te 'genieten' had ik niet gezocht achter de voor mij onbekend cultuur. De vraag is ven wat er nog van o...

    This is a memoir about a "gaijin" (a white person) in Japan in the late '70s. I was surprised at the contemporary films, theater, and art scene described (at times reminiscent of what I've read about the Andy Warhol scene at the Factory in its outrageousness). Ultimately everything had...

    2.5 stars. It was promising in the beginning and I endured because I lived in Japan around the same time the author was there, so places and people he mentioned were familiar. But for those who have never been to Tokyo or Japan, it would be rather boring as he spends on Japanese films ...

  • Mboconnor31
    Apr 16, 2018

    Over the years, and especially going back and forth from Japan, I have read many books by fellow Americans and some British citizens on their time spent in Japan. A lot of them are crap. The ones that stand out are the ones that wrote about Japanese cinema and literature. The girls or ...

    As a young man, Ian Buruma lived in Japan for several years , exploring the fringe worlds of theatre, film and performance art, where erotu, grotu and nonsensu prevailed (erotic/porn, grotesque and nonsensu) prevailed. He hung out with actors, joining them on tour, eating, drinking,...

    This memoir is both a poignant account of Buruma's romance with Japan, a romance that both succeeds and fails, and also a compelling "insider" account of 1970s Japanese avant-garde culture, particularly the theater of Juro Kara. Buruma confronts an old problem with insight and sympathy...

    I was prepared to love this book and looked forward to a trip down memory lane since I was also in Japan during the time period Buruma is writing about. But it's more of a brag about his own youthful sexual exploits and unless you have a really strong interest in Japanese cinema, a lot...

    An unfinished book that regularly reappears on my bedside table is The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan, or its alternate, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Richie arrived in Japan in 1947 and ended up enjoying the rest of his life there ? the journals, writings on Jap...

    A great source of reading ideas for me these days is the weekly NYTimes Book Review "By The Book" column where I was first introduced to Ian Buruma who I hadn't heard of before. The idea of this book resonated with me as my wife and I spent two years in Japan. Buruma was attracted to J...

    Uninspired. And at least 60% of the material here can be found in other (better) books by Buruma. ...

    Exceptional meditation/memoir of the author's years in Japan in the mid-70's, mostly as a student. Do not look to this to help you understand Japan or the Japanese. Such understanding would come obliquely, as the author examines his "otherness" vis-a-vis both the Japanese and Westerner...

    Buruma spent several years in Japan experiencing all he could about the post-war, avant-garde theater scene in Tokyo. It?s incredibly interesting to get such a privileged view of the somewhat crazy and hyper-cultural counter culture of Japan in the 70s, even more so when it comes fro...

    West meets East and past meets future in this somewhat self-indulgent retrospective into the ?gaijin? author?s foray into the creative, if sometimes seedy, underground culture of 1970s Tokyo. It reads like an ethnography in parts, which I guess it is. I was given an advance copy ...

    Fascinating tale, memoir. It starts off with a privileged baby boomer from Holland, albeit his mother is a Jewish woman from a England whose brother was John Schlesinger, director of the iconic 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The description of the upheaval of the 60s was interesting mainly...