By Peter Carey
Whilst Peter Carey provided to take his son to Japan, 12-year-old Charley stipulated no temples or museums. He desired to see manga, anime, and cool, bizarre stuff. His father acknowledged sure. Out of that discount comes this spell binding journey of the mansion of eastern tradition, as entered via its garish, brightly lit again door. Guided–and every now and then judged–by an ineffably unusual boy named Takashi, the Careys meet manga artists and anime administrators, the meticulous impersonators known as “visualists,” and solitary, nerdish otaku. all through, the Booker Prize-winning novelist makes observations which are interesting even when–as his hosts preserve courteously reminding him–they develop into incorrect. humorous, fabulous, individual by means of its splendidly nuanced portrait of a father and son millions of miles from domestic, Wrong approximately Japan is a satisfaction.
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Extra resources for Wrong About Japan
Only when we stood in the arcade, looking out through the summer rain at the desolation of Drunk Street, did my son tell me what was on his mind. ” “Did you see the chef? He was like a sumo wrestler. He was scary. He had bright orange hair. ” “Of course. ” My twelve-year-old rolled his eyes. ” Irony about a subject he couldn’t possibly comprehend? “In any case,” I said hurriedly, “the old man was very nice to you. ” Frankly I thought Charley had seen too many subtitled gangster movies, but when, the next day, we met up with Jerry and Etsuko, they thought he was probably correct.
Stuffu everywhere—plasma screens, cell phones as thin as credit cards with guerilla war playing on their screens, those crazy science-fiction toilets, fifteen models at least. But had we come to Japan to look at such mundane appliances? In search of stronger stuff, we entered a labyrinth of lanes, arcades where it was not always clear where one business ended and another began. Like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo looking for spare parts on the planet Xenon, we browsed in dusty little shops selling mammoth radio valves, tiny black items identified only by the number on the box and sometimes by a small yellow stripe like a vein of candy sandwiched in a block of licorice.
Charley brought home the famous manga about Hiroshima, Barefoot Gen. Not to be outdone, I unearthed Studio Ghibli’s masterly anime about the firebombing of Tokyo, Grave of the Fireflies. If this was pop culture, it was also art and history, and our conversations took an interesting swerve. Coming back from Brooklyn after school one day, my son wondered if I thought the A-bombs would have been dropped had Commodore Perry just stayed at home. Who knows? Maybe not. In that case, Charley concluded, there would be no Godzilla.