I read this book for the Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2014.
Adventures in Japan: A Literary Journey in the Footsteps of a Victorian Lady -
The glamour which at first disguises the inherent barrenness of savage life has had time to pass away, and I see it in all its nakedness as a life not much raised above the necessities of animal existence, timid, monotonous, barren of good, dark, dull, “without hope, and without God in the world…”
Another quibble I have is that the Japanese words are rendered in a way that we would expect somebody who doesn’t speak the language would render them. For drinking water, we get “okiya” for ohiya and for generic water, we get “misu” for mizu. Kuruma is given over and over again as “kurama.” Nor was she well-served by her translators. For the proverb about Nikko, “Never say ‘splendid (kekko)’ till you’ve seen Nikko,” we get “content” for “splendid.”
But I still recommend this short introduction to regions of Japan that receive little press. Her description of resorts brought back nice memories of the summer of 1992, which I spent teaching in Niigata, which has many hot springs to enjoy.