Today's post won't have anything about my trips to Japan, but a Japan-related book review as my old netbook with all the images died yesterday :( (luckily only the screen, but it'll take some time to move the files).

After my South America trip, I invested in an ebook reader, and the first book I read on it was one I had been waiting for for months - Margaret Dilloway's "How to be an American Housewife".

The title might sounds like it's not about Japan, but trust me, it is. It's a kind of biographic book about a Japanese "war bride", who married an American soldier occupied Japan in the 1950s and moved to America with him. It tells the story of how a Japanese woman who was raised the old-fashioned Japanese way struggled to fit in in America, and includes a lot of information on life in Japan before, during and after the war, Japanese family values and more.

Well, that's what the book is about superficially. On a deeper level, I think the topic of the book is how we are always "foreign" to many things. Very often, we are strangers to our own family, our siblings, mothers and daughters, to people society expects us to be close to, to many cultures and our own. Often, we are also strangers to our own wishes, desires and courage.

Whether you are interested in Japan or not (or know anything about it or know the culture quite in depth), it's a novel anyone will be able to relate to, with real, non-superhero characters that are, no matter what their nationality, very human.


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