First off, I should say this title slightly offends me. I recognize it's meant to be a clever play on words but I'm not sure it's something that should ever be played on like that. But I tend to be overly sensitive about these things, so it's possible most people simply don't care.
For some reason that didn't register with me when I requested to review this book. All I saw was Japan...and I wanted to read it because I also spent a year and a half in Japan and love reading about similar experiences from different perspectives. Unfortunately, I really didn't enjoy this perspective at all.
Yes, I recognize that I was supposed to be aware that Lisa was spoiled...and so I expected some humorous tales about her adjustment to life in Japan. Unfortunately, I never really found her humor funny, or her arrogant ethnocentric mindset very forgiveable.
Lisa agrees to move to Japan with her husband the day after their wedding without really thinking about it at all. Okay I do get that she's madly in love and wanting to follow her husband around, but she's not 18, she's 29. Surely, it must have entered her mind to at least google "life in Japan"??? But if I'm to believe the way the story is told, she basically moves there without thinking about it at all, and wants to go home immediately.
Japan is not the United States this is true. And there is a lot to get used to, especially if you don't normally do your own laundry. Sometimes reading her thoughts was a reminder of all the negative things my co-workers and fellow ex-pats would say when I was in Japan. I don't know why but a lot of the things mentioned never really bugged me. I got that some Japanese people would be uncomfortable sitting next to me on the train, and that people would stare. But for all of those situations, there was always so much good to outweigh the bad.
Also, I was actually a huge fan of the public transportation. Sure, there were times I wished I could go in a car, and I was spoiled to have close Japanese friends who had a car but I think the public transportation for the most part was excellent.
So pretty much the whole book was Lisa complaining about Japan, about the mindsets and attitudes towards women, so on and so forth. But she got to travel to a lot of incredible places! It wasn't until she went to the Peace Museum in Hiroshima that she came around a little bit and I think that's a testament to just how powerful an experience that place is. I was also incredibly humbled by the atmosphere and the hope that exists here. I really wish everyone could go there.
Anyway, there's a ton of profanity and I really didn't need to know all about her and her husband's sex life. I found this account to be a pretty superficial account of Japan, but maybe a more interesting story about the first year of marriage between a former Marine and spoiled Jewish American Princess.
Anyway, I don't think Lisa ever really came to appreciate or love Japan. (as evidenced by the panic attack she had when going to a Japanese restaurant once back home) And that's sad. So I hope not too many people read this, as I do appreciate and love Japan and I think there's a lot more interesting stories and narratives about life there to be found. Despite all her negativity, though, it did make me want to go back!
Things You Might Want to Know: Lots of profanity and sex
Source of Book: review copy from publisher
Publisher: Downtown Press (Simon and Schuster)