i just finished the book Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson, and it was an amazing book i must say. He describes, in perfect words, how it is to be a foreigner in Japan.
Ferguson takes us from the end of Okinawa to the tip of Hokkaido in spring. He is following the sakuraflowers throughout the country, by hitchhiking.
i love the book. And for people who lived in japan as a foreigner, which i did, will soon feel the communion with Fergusons experiences. it made me laugh so many times and i learned a lot about japan and its culture. Next book on my list is Alan Booth's book The Roads to Sata.
One of my favorite quotes of how it is to be an outsider in japan:
"The Japanese are not a cold hearted people. Sometimes i wish they were, it would make leaving easier. The problem is not that you aren´t welcome. You are. You are welcome as an outsider. The problem is not exclusion, the problem is partial exclusion. The door is open but the chain is on. One hand becons and the other blocks. Like a hostess in a snackbar, Japan flirts its way into our hearts, it pours our drinks, it strokes our ego, it smiles and sighs and listens to our stories, and then in a moment of silence it askes: "how did you ever get so fat?"