There has been a number of books written on Japan by expatriate writers. Participants of the JET Programme have been particularly prolific in this regard. Some examples follow, in chronological order of release:

Nicholas Klar, My Mother is a Tractor: A Life in Rural Japan, 2006

The standard of writing in ''My Mother is a Tractor'' is a bit disparate - part blog, part social commentary, part Mainichi Daily News ''wai wai'' but, despite flipping between the three constantly, comes out as a balanced read. I read this one after my return from JET and found myself feeling all natsukashii in some places, laughing out loud at others, but sometimes cringing too when recognising myself or friends in the same likenesses of Klar's motley crew.

David L. McConnell, Importing Diversity: Inside Japan's JET Program, 2000

I read ''Importing Diversity'' as I prepared to come on the JET Programme. I found both this book and "Learning to Bow" useful and providing a good insight as to what to expect. I thought McConnell's book was worthwhile but dry and, if possible, it could now do with an updating - particularly on the increasing 'privatization' of the JET Program

Bruce Feiler, Learning to Bow', 1991

I also read ''Importing Diversity'' before going on the JET Programme. Feiler has gone on to a successful writing career but I did find his style a bit grating at times (other reviewers on Amazon apparently concur), as well as a bit dated. However it still seems the best known - probably in part due it's position as the first book on the JET experience.


Having read all three of the above books they all come with blessings and curses and each will appeal to different readers. More reviews will be added in due course.

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