Clint's Reviews > 日本―その姿と心 （和英対照） ―NIPPON The Land and Its People
日本―その姿と心 （和英対照） ―NIPPON The Land and Its People
Kind of an interesting book in theory, this was originally published by the Nippon Steel Company in 1977 and given to its employees to use when they are abroad on business and are asked about Japan. That might seem kind of needless, but considering the English level of most Japanese, even the highly educated ones who work abroad, it kind of makes sense. It's in Japanese and English, with facing page translation, but the content is kind of funny. Of course, it's been updated a several times, the edition I read was last done in 2002 or 2003 I think. It's basically a summary of everything Japanese; business, politics, geography, history, science, religion, culture, bonsai trees, etc. But it spent too much time, for my taste on tedioius details of economics and the political system, and there were some really funny passages, like "A number of reasons can be given for this lack of religious feeling. For one thing, the Japanese people are by nature optimistic and concerned mainly about worldly affairs. Inhabitants of a country blessed with the beauty of nature and a moderate four-season climate, the Japanese have for many generations led an easygoing existence free from the threat of extreme natural disaters and the invasion of enemies. Perhaps becuase of this, they have not developed any deep religious yearning." HAHAHA!!!! Optimistic? Japan, the land of the death poem, "death, light as a feather," the country with one of the highest suicide rates in the world and their own word for dying of overwork. Free from extreme natural disasters? The world's highest concentration of earthquakes, the second highest number of tsunamis, and a gigantic active volcano right in the middle of the country. Enemies? Let's not forget that Japan is a US-friendly rich capitalist nation right next door to North Korea, China, and Russia. And the mention of Japan having four seasons is one of my pet peeves. It's done twice in this book. Most of the world has four seasons...
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