The Accidental Office ...
Laura Kriska
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Accidental Office Lady: An American Woman in Corporate Japan

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A young woman with a new degree in Japanese studies and plenty of youthful idealism and can-do spirit accepts a job as the first American trainee at Honda's headquarters in Tokyo. Her image of Japanese corporate life is dramatically challenged on her first day at work when she is issued a blue polyester uniform--a uniform worn only by women!
From menial beginnings serving t...more
ebook, 258 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Tuttle Publishing (first published April 1st 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Accidental Office Lady, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Accidental Office Lady

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 120)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The Accidental Office Lady was an interesting look into late 80s Japan corporate culture. It detailed concepts of uniforms, sex discrimination, and engendered behaviors. Frequently I found myself annoyed with the whiny tone of the author, and aggravated that she didn't seem to have any inkling about Japanese business culture prior to her stay. It seems that the discrimination against women in the workplace and their subservient position in the hierarchy should be pretty well known for anyone tha...more
Penny Yoke
This is the first time I'm reading an autobiography, and I was pleasantly surprised that The Accidental Office Lady wasn't as boring as I thought! Since I chose this book out of a list for my English assignment (the title caught my eye), I was prepared for a boring account of office work in Japan. In a way, this book is like that (how thrilling can an autobiography be?), but it provides an interesting perspective of Japan and its corporate world.

Let's talk about the superficial stuff first, the...more
Travelling Cari
I hadn't heard of the book when I went to Kinokuniya, but the cover caught my attention, as did the blurb on the back. I started reading it immediately in the mall but it took me some time to get through it. Not because it wasn't god (it was!) or the length (302 pages) but because school sucks up far too much of my time :(

Anyway, some thoughts:

As is the case with other books not written about people doing the eikaiwa thing, it's nice to see another perspective on Japan. See how others experience...more
buku yang bagus untuk mengenal kehidupan para pekerja di jepang..ditulis oleh seorang wanita amerika - Laura Kriska - yang bekerja selama 2 tahun di Honda Motor.

banyak hal yang membuatnya terkaget2 dgn kondisi kerja di kantor barunya tsb..penggunaan seragam, sekretaris yang benar2 melayani keperluan2 bos-nya, spt meraut pensil setiap pagi,menyiapkan minuman... wah mana ada di amerika yg spt itu.

selain suasana kantor, laura juga menceritakan aktivitas sosial teman2nya sesama sekretaris saat akhir...more
Great book about the differences in the cultures between America and Japan. Loved reading about the narrators evolution from the beginning of her time at Honda Japan to the end. I am an American expat living in Singapore and have experienced some of the same changes in my thinking. I found the book to be insightful and funny and moved along very fast. I would recommend it to anyone who has traveled in Asia.
Joel De courcy browne

An interesting account of an American woman's time working in various departments at Honda in Tokyo and surrounds. I like the fact that her tone is overwhelmingly positive. She has the ability to make the best of cultural difference and learn from the experience. A thoughtful and compelling read. A rare insight into old school corporate Japan through the eyes of an outsider.
Vicki Beyer
This book resonated with me because it largely mirrored the experiences I had working in a Japanese office in the early 1980s. I could completely relate to the author's loneliness and frustration, as well as the way her experiences changed her, helped her grow, and left her with an abiding love of Japan.
Natasha Oliver
I rate this as highly as I did because it spoke to me when I first moved to Japan. I would have to re-read it again to see if I can still support the 4 stars.
Ellen Snyder
Very interesting book on the culture of Japanese corporations. An American woman goes to work in Japan and finds things are not as expected.
Excellent account of Kriska's time working for Honda in the late 80s--while I was also in Japan--I was reminded of all the faux pas I made back then!
An interesting read for anyone introducing themselves to Japanese culture. An easy read with sprinklings of Japanese phrases to add to your vocab.
This book is more about the author's growing up in her 20s than living abroad. I got bored towards the end of the book.

I enjoyed the personal revelations on Japanese culture but found the author's complaining tone frustrating.
Emer O'connor
Emer O'connor marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
Cerell Rivera
Cerell Rivera marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2014
Rachael Steil
Rachael Steil marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2014
David Becvarik
David Becvarik marked it as to-read
Jan 05, 2014
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2013
Machel Luria
Machel Luria marked it as to-read
Dec 08, 2013
Monica marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Born in Tokyo, Japan to missionary parents, Laura Kriska spoke her first words in Japanese and took her first steps on tatami floor. When she was two years old, her family returned to their home in Columbus, Ohio, but her interest in Japan continued to grow. While earning her B.A. in Japanese Studies at Denison University, Kriska spent her junior year abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo and devot...more
More about Laura Kriska...
The Accidental Office Lady The Accidental Office Lady: An American Woman in Corporate Japan

Share This Book