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Old 02-17-2011, 08:20 PM   #15
Josh Reyer
 
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 19

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. I think it is difficult to make such a broad judgment. In Hiroshima, for example, there are several quite distinct foreign groups, with different needs. Nevertheless, all the foreign' books are stacked together, they are all in English and, as I stated, are all about Japan. (This is Maruzen's store in central Hiroshima. The Junkudo store near the station has a larger selection of English-language books, especially fiction, but the proportion of books on Japan is large.) Of course, the Dutch generally are far more fluent English speakers, so in a store like Scheltama's in Amsterdam, books in English and Dutch are arranged side by side, but there is no special section on Dutch Culture, featuring works on windmills, clogs and van Gogh. To put it another way, if one believed that Japan had a unique homogeneous culture, which foreigners as a distinct category needed to know about, then the organization of a typical provincial Japanese bookstore would display this belief quite well.
Well, if only to play devil's advocate, I'd say if one believed that there was a market in Japan for English language books on Japan, then the organization of a typical provincial Japanese bookstore would display this belief quite well. As would the bookshelves of many ex-patriates in Japan. Every ex-patriate's bookshelf that I've seen here usually has one or two books on Japan. There's a selection bias here: foreigners who come to Japan generally have an interest in Japan, and seek out books on Japan. So, on that score, I don't find it so unusual that English sections of Japanese bookstores show a preponderance of books on Japan.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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