Feb 5 2005
Alex Kerr was unknown to me until I read Lost Japan shortly after arriving in Japan with Kana. Lost Japan was a great education for me on just what things have been changing in Japan over the last few decades. I enjoyed Lost Japan because it went into a lot of the “behind the scenes” areas that foreigners normally would not know about (Iya Valley, Kabuki, Art etc). It is also just great to know that the book was written to a Japanese audience.
At times Alex Kerr can be pretty harsh (not as harsh as his next book Dogs and Demons) however I believe this comes from his great love of Japan and the Japanese people. If he didn’t love the place so much I am pretty sure he would not have taken the time to write two books about it.
IMHO (in my humble opinion), Lost Japan is essential reading for foreigners in Japan.
“The original edition of Lost Japan, written in Japansese, won the 1994 Shincho Gakugei Literature Prize for the best work of non-fiction published in Japan. Alex is the first foreigner to win this prestigious award.” taken from Lost Japan.