Buchtipp: “Simple Guide to Japan – Customs & Etiquette”

Simple Guide to Japan
Cover of “Simple Guide to Japan”

This booklet was published in the third edition in 1997 and authored by Helmut Morsbach. It features 80 pages in total with illustrations and a medium font size. So you should be finished in few hours. I definitely need to compare it with “Darum nerven Japaner” (engl. “Why Japanese Are Annoying”), which I read recently. However, for the latter no English translation is available.

In my humble opinion, “Why Japanese Are Annoying” does a better job at presenting Japanese habits, because it contains humorous remarks to make it more enjoyable. Due to its length (compared to the booklet) it is also more exhaustive and goes to a philosophical point of view, which is entertaining also for a non-European audience. This booklet sticks to a basic comparison of European and Japanese habits. On the other hand it comes straight to the point and introduces more basic Japanese words/phrases compared to the humorous book.

In the end you will read 10 chapters:

  1. Introduction by Ronald Dore
  2. Foreword
  3. In General
  4. Wining & Dining
  5. The Japanese Home
  6. Gift-giving
  7. Out & About
  8. Conversation & Communication
  9. Business Matters
  10. Useful Phrases & Vocabulary

The final pages contains a collection of Japanese words used in the booklet, facts about Japan and an index. A nice read for an afternoon. I cannot verify its content, because I have not been to Japan, but one disclaimer remains: In some ways outdated.

Buchtipp: “Simple Guide to Japan – Customs & Etiquette”

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