The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories

Product Details
$6.99  $6.50
Tuttle Publishing
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.8 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author
Rebecca Otowa was born in California, and studied Japanese Language and Culture at the University of Queensland in Australia. In 1978 she went to Japan, and never left. After graduating from Otani University in Kyoto, with an MA in Buddhism, she married the 19th-generation heir to a country estate nearby. In the years since, she has brought up two sons, taught university-level English, played music, acted on stage and kept a vegetable garden, but she eventually returned to her two great loves--writing and drawing. Besides two books At Home in Japan (2010) and My Awesome Japan Adventure (2013), she has been a translator and columnist and has organized two shows of her paintings.
" eclectic assortment of tales that are likely to entertain and intrigue readers in equal measure." -- The Japan Times
"These finely crafted stories, intriguing in themselves, are remarkable for their insights into Japanese culture. These never feel 'forced' but emerge naturally from the narrative, with the reader left to ponder the implications. A true delight in every way!" -- John Dougill, author of Kyoto: a Cultural History, Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto and founder of Writers in Kyoto
"Families and friendship, marriage and motherhood, ageing and death feature in these engaging and thought-provoking tales by a gifted story-teller and illustrator."-- Dr. Jann Williams, author and editor of Writers In Kyoto Anthology III
"Otowa has woven a series of delightful vignettes of life in Japan, from a true historical story of feuding villages to a man who steals shoes at temples, a traditional sweets store being left behind as the neighbourhood changes over time, a pathological hoarder, and some highlighting the cultural differences between Japanese and American sensibilities, especially for women." -- Ginny Tapley-Takemori, translator of Convenience Store Woman
"Endurance, duty and obligation are the underpinnings of Japanese society. The very knowledgeable Otowa seasons her tales with these traits to reveal the complexity of Japanese culture, past and present."-- Judith Clancy, author of Exploring Kyoto, Kyoto: City of Zen and Kyoto Gardens
"...beautifully written stories that sharply illuminate aspects of life in Japan with understanding, empathy, and wry humor. Against the backdrop of her own experiences and those of her family, the author uses creative imagination, keen observation and deep compassion to tell stories with heart." -- Juliet Carpenter, translator of A True Novel
"...Otowa has faithfully observed and incorporated into her stories the minutiae of life in that country, both ancient and modern...without the air of orientalism and exoticism that can make stories about Japan seem like an appendix to a travel guide....And for those who have not lived in Japan, these bite-sized tales will provide a welcome and refreshing change from over-sentimental accounts of cherry-blossom and geisha, or wide-eyed manga and anime Japanese heroes, while providing glimpses of a country that are rarely experienced by other residents, let alone casual tourists." -- Hugh Ashton, author of Tales of Old Japanese, At the Sharpe End and Leo's Luck
"Rebecca's short stories will stay with you. With a hawk's eye for details and in crisp prose, her stories explore duty, empathy, and despair in Japanese society. She doesn't shy away from her subject matter and her stories ring of truth. Her illustrations are similarly detailed and give the book a charming innocence." -- Stuart Ayre, illustrator of Ein Spaziergang in Japan (A Walk in Japan)