No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners! My Life in Japan in the 80's by Joe Palermo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having lived in Japan myself and participated in the same Japanese government teaching program, I found Palermo's anecdotes of life in Japan, endearing and nostalgic--and spot on for cultural quirkiness and awakenings. The author captures what it's like to be a "gaijin" (foreigner), in between worlds, as it were, sometimes a celebrity, sometimes overlooked/forgotten. A few times I felt the author indulged too much in cliches but quickly recovered with the substance of the stories carrying the necessary weight.
This is light, relaxed read of a complex cultural experience. Definitely recommend it for anyone with a "yen" for Japanese culture.
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