Jojo's Reviews > 36 Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan

36 Views of Mount Fuji by Cathy N. Davidson
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's review
Mar 28, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: travel, read2007, comfort-read, memoir, read2009
Read in August, 2009

2007

I used to read this book all the time. It's kind of an odd book to return to again and again, but I just thought it was terribly interesting. I only recently got my own copy (I'd just stumbled across it in the library when I was supposed to be researching Japanese theatre and just kept reading that copy) and read it again for the first time in years. It remains terribly interesting!

I've always wanted to visit Japan (okay, so I want to visit everywhere in the world), so it's definitely interesting for the cultural aspect (although her visits were between 1980 and 1990, so obviously there are some things that would be different had the book been written more recently). But it could have been any country she visited and it would have been interesting - the parts I find most fascinating are about the experience of being foreign somewhere and falling in love with it, of feeling foreign when you go home, of learning how you don't fit into that foreign place even though you love it, of learning how to make it part of your life regardless.

Pretty quick read, pretty interesting! It makes me want to travel; it makes me appreciate home.

________

2009

It was interesting reading this again now that I live in Japan. My Japan is very much not the Japan the author experienced (location - I am in Tokyo, she was not - and time - her visits were in the '80s - might be responsible). But I can still recognize it as a Japan, and sometimes there are, "Oh, yes, that's exactly what it's like" moments. I can relate more to the book now, but it's become less fascinating too. I know now what it's like to move to very foreign place.

It will be interesting to read again whenever I leave here; I always found the bits of the book about going home to be the most fascinating.
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