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Culture Shock! Japan: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette
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Culture Shock! Japan: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  164 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Whether you're conducting business, traveling for pleasure, or even relocating abroad, one mistake with customs or etiquette can leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. International travelers, now more than ever, are not just individuals from the United States, but ambassadors and impression makers for the country as a whole. Newly updated, redesigned, and resized for maxi ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company (first published October 1st 2004)
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Jen • Just One More Page

The non-opinionated and factual parts of this book were very good and accurate as to what I have observed in my own trip to Japan (I finished reading it after a week and a half in Okinawa and right before a two-day stay in Tokyo). It has been very helpful in learning how to manage myself and keep from being a bumbling Western tourist and self-entitled American.

But the author gives this air of overall disliking living in Japan and has very little good to say about the country overall. It feels h
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it
While I got some entertaining insight from this book, its more fit for people moving to Japan not visiting.
My biggest criticism is the derogatory remarks - its written from a Western point of view with not a small bit of smugness about Western values or ways of doing things over other culture's approaches or values. While those sorts of differences are helpful to point out, the tone was insulting, I felt. It's one thing for you to speak about your experiences and surprises, another to categoriz
Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I read this book shortly before coming to Japan. Not one I'd recommend. Sure, it has plently of tips about survival in Japan, information about the country that can come in handy for helping you to settle into life in a new country. But there are other books out there that I believe would better serve that purpose.

The author's tone is annoying. He takes jabs at Japanese culture constantly. You really get the impression that the author didn't have a very good experience living in Japan. Why he wa
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone remotely curious about Japanese culture
Very thorough. Though it's meant for someone relocating, it's a good reference for anyone interested in modern Japanese culture.
The food and the anime rules, but I'd stick out like a sore thumb in Japan with my crass western features and manners. I'll visit, but for now I'll stick to reading Naruto and eating ramen.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not rating this book 5 stars because I agree with everything the author has to be. Some remarks are overly critical to the point of obnoxious. But, this book led me on a journey of introspection when I discovered how close the culture and society of Japan are to that of my country, India and in what poor light some of the practices can be perceived by foreign eyes. The author's view is not entirely partial and gives due credit to the Japanese when they deserve so.
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I was immediately thrown off by the less-than-clear image on the cover, and flipping through I saw that all the pictures were in black-and-white. I almost put the book back of the shelf, thinking that it must have been written in the 60s or 70s and that a good deal of the information would have changed and be out-of-date. Don't let the lousy graphic quality throw you off, though; this book was only published in 2005.

Much like the last book I reviewed about Japan, this is not a travel guide. Unli
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
The possibility of relocating to Japan lingers in my house, like an unspoken whisper of promise and intrigue, echoing across the bookshelves in our living room. I have moved to many places in my life, but Asia is one continent I never had the opportunity to visit. I vaguely knew some cultural elements (particularly anything food-related - my stomach has priority) but wanted to dive in deeper into the depths of Japanese culture. This book was perfect in satiating my hunger for information.
It pro
Nov 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely an informative and entertaining read. Even though I'd already been living in the country for a couple months when I picked up the book, it still taught me a lot; and even the stuff I already knew was presented in an interesting manner.

Nevertheless, I found myself frustrated with Bramble's incessant negativity. From a gaijin (foreigner) standpoint, it's all too easy to have a cynical attitude toward Japanese culture. Unfortunately, this attitude seems to constitute the trend wi
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A short and entertaining read that give you a potted example of what living in Japan is like for someone coming from the US. The author lives in Japan with is wife and children and documents elements that would be particularly useful to know to prevent, well, culture shock. I'm not sure which book the other readers had, but it seemed clear he was documenting his experience adjusting to life there with a tongue firmly in cheek and didn't shy away from describing things he felt were unsavoury or h ...more
Oct 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone traveling to Japan or wanting a book on current culture
I checked this out to research a Japanese-culture workshop I'm doing for teens. It's enlightening about contemporary Japanese culture, to say the least. Just a few examples:

In general, married Japanese women are expected to be "June Cleaver" types (expected to be housewives only, always in skirts and make-up, no help around the house from husband), but hold the purse strings to the point of doling out an "allowance" to their spouses.

Cleanliness is a national obsession: to the point of scrubbing
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, asia, japan, culture
I mostly enjoyed this book. I read it before, during and after a trip to Japan last month and found it a helpful introduction. It helped to demystify and to raise awareness of where I was, and what I was experiencing. It's a practical book, rather than a deep analysis - useful for a business traveller as well as a tourist, and with lots of information helpful to anyone staying longer term in the country. It's clearly written by an 'outsider', however, which is sometimes evident in the tone of so ...more
Chinarut Ruangchotvit
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: donated
very easy read though not what I expected - I thought the author put a bit too much of his own biases and rants as a gaijin n thought this was a bit annoying even though I get he is trying to be humorous! It's a good book to get the juices flowing and starts out really well with a good mini-history lesson. Be sure to check out more academic ramblings on Japanese culture to help balance your perspective!
Joseph Jones
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I've been on a binge when it comes to books regarding modern Japanese culture. This is by far one of the most xenophobic pieces of trash I've read. Although it contains some useful tips for someone wanting to relocate (bank info, childcare, etc.). It's grossly intolerant regarding nuances of the Japanese people and society. Strictly for the arrogant, white, business type that's pissed they've ended up working there.
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book is written in the eyes of a White guy who does not appreciate other culture than his. I find many Japanese traditions he has described awful as something really profound and beautiful. He does not write bad, though - at least for that I add one star, which now makes a 2-star rating. But a 2-star for a condescending foreginer loathing 95% of the time throughout the book is a tad too high. I'd give 1.3 as a precise (and generous) rating.
Jason Rawles
Jan 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Jason by: my neurotic ex-girlfriend
This book accomplished one amazing feat: it single-handedly convinced me to write for profit. If this jackass can make up multiple conflicting untruths and sell books I want a piece of the action. What a horrible gift to receive.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
penjelasannya cukup lengkap. di beberapa bab penjelasannya disusun seperti kamus(?)
dilengkapi dengan contoh skenario kasus bila terjadi suatu hal yang tidak diinginkan saat di Jepang dan kita tidak tau harus berbuat apa.
cukup menarik.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan
Amusing, though sometimes felt too much like the writer was trying to pick on every little thing. Also you can tell it's written by an American; a European person would find certain aspects of culture less shocking and others more. Still I'd recommend people to read it.
Matt Downs
A nice pre-visit to Japan book. Chock full of useful information, but presented sometimes in an obscure manner. I wouldn't go without reading it, by any means, but it's not going to be something you read on the flight over and it's going have you on all cylinders when you touch down.
Jessica Mcclaskey
Mar 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Unbelievably racist.
Andhika Padmawan
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
While not perfect, this book is by far the most compelling literature on how life in Japan, notably for foreigners who will have prolonged stay.
Nov 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This a great series to read for preparing for traveling to foreign countries with cultures that are different from our own. I've learned a lot from these books and felt well prepared for my trips.
John Richards
good summary of areas of cultural differences. some good suggestions and recommendations
Sara Ab
Mar 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: english
Very funny and helpful for someone who wants to live in japan.
Jul 23, 2011 added it
If you take it for what it is - one person's perspective on japanese culture - then it is an interesting and informative read. And I think the author managed to be witty sometimes.
Andre Libre
rated it liked it
Apr 12, 2016
rated it it was ok
May 01, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2014
rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2007
rated it liked it
Jul 02, 2013
Jae Han
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Jan 20, 2014
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