Land of the Rising Son

Peter Carey—author of the novel Oscar and Lucinda, two-time winner of the Booker Prize, all-around intelligent bloke—has lots of thoughtful ideas about modern Japanese culture, almost all of which, he comes to discover, are wrong. He's wrong about the symbolism of his son's favorite animé series, Mobile Suit Gundam. He's wrong about the artistic motivation behind Japanese sword-making. And he's wrong about the otaku, the ultra-obsessive Japanese fans of everything from manga to pop idols, who turn out to have more dimensions than Carey, an Australian living in New York City, could ever have imagined. As a Japanese friend warns Carey,...

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