Dear Professor Macfarlane, Apologies for this note from a stranger, but I have just finished your book on Japan. I thought it was excellent and enjoyed it thoroughly! I work here (and have done for over 20 years) at Hiroshima Shudo University, a small university outside Hiroshima. I do Applied Linguistics and related areas of language and culture, UK studies, etc. Hence the cultural side of the book was of great interest, especially the central five chapters. I feel you have got things "right" in many areas and it is clear that you have great sympathy for the ambiguities of the country. ....... Malcolm Benson, Prof. of English, Hiroshima Shudo University.