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If you've ever had the uneasy feeling that the Japanese do things better, this book may be the ideal antidote. Even the Japanese are quick to admit that despite their enthusiasm for learning it, they still have a certain amount of difficulty with the English language.

This is no new phenomenon. Shortly after Japan opened her ports to foreign traders, one doctor advertised himself as "a Specialist in the Decease of Children"; eggs were sold as "extract of fowl"; and a notice advised that "Tomorrow, from midnight to 12 noon, you will receive dirty water." Fortunately, things are improving, but very slowly. A more recent English-language newspaper reported that someone's "wedding was consummated in the garden of the American consul's home," while a road sign was posted near a busy intersection that commanded drivers to "Have many accidents here."

Long-time Tokyo resident Miranda Kenrick has collected these and hundreds of other delightful anecdotes to form a lighthearted, but unabashedly affectionate, portrait of the Japanese at home. Reading this book may do more for U.S.-Japan relations than a whole bookshelf of more serious-minded tomes.

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