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Wrong About Japan

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Description

When Peter Carey offered to take his son to Japan, 12-year-old Charley stipulated no temples or museums. He wanted to see manga, anime, and cool, weird stuff. His father said yes. Out of that bargain comes this enchanting tour of the mansion of Japanese culture, as entered through its garish, brightly lit back door. Guided–and at times judged–by an ineffably strange boy named Takashi, the Careys meet manga artists and anime directors, the meticulous impersonators called “visualists,” and solitary, nerdish otaku. Throughout, the Booker Prize-winning novelist makes observations that are intriguing even when–as his hosts keep politely reminding him–they turn out to be wrong. Funny, surprising, distinguished by its wonderfully nuanced portrait of a father and son thousands of miles from home, Wrong About Japan is a delight.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 22, 2004 – Novelist Carey is a two-time Booker Prize winner (Oscar and Lucinda; True History of the Kelly Gang), and although his latest work is presented as nonfiction, his fiction readers won't be disappointed. This travel diary reads like a scintillating novella, and Carey has, in fact, added his own fictional embellishments to the real-life events he reports. After his shy 12-year-old son, Charley, began reading English translations of Japanese manga, their Saturday mornings at the Manhattan comic book store Forbidden Planet spurred Carey's own interest. As their "cultural investigation" of manga and anime widened, "the kid who would never talk in class was now brimming with new ideas he wasn't shy to discuss." This father-son bond deepened when they flew to Japan to meet manga artists and anime directors, including Yoshiyuki Tomino (Mobile Suit Gundam). At publisher Kodansha, they learned of manga's history, and touring Studio Ghibli, they encountered the "most famous anime director in the world," Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away). Their guide to Tokyo's cartoon culture was Takashi, a teenager the narrative says Charley met online (yet, as Carey revealed in a newspaper interview, he created the imaginary character of Takashi because the narrative needed conflict, and Carey wanted to avoid "conflict with anybody in real life"). Carey's fluid and engaging writing style gets a boost from 25 energetic b&w anime/manga illustrations.

Customer Reviews

You're probably wrong about this book

Underrated. This book deserves a lot of credit. I read this when I was 11 or 12, and struggling to get my parents to understand my desire to go to and my fascination with Japan. I had my mom read this book, and I honestly believe that it sort of helped my mom see things from a different perspective. That I wasn't weird, and that my admiration for the country and culture isn't something to be ashamed of. Japan is a beautiful place. Unique.
Good book.

Wrong About Japan
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Asia
  • Published: Jan 11, 2005
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 176 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings