Synopses & Reviews
1. Identity - collective -- Japan2. Orientalism -- Occidentalism3. Intercultural communication - stereotypes4. Translation theory - Japanese/English5. Japanese - sociolinguisticsLanguages exotic to one another, such as English and Japanese, create false images of their respective speakers which form and confirm stereotypes that can be denied by Cultural Relativism but not disproved, much less vanquished. Being in denial is not the same as being cured. This book, like the author's seven books published in Japan/ese, treats prejudice by uncovering its roots and exposing them to the healthy light of reason. At the same time, it rethinks Orientalism together with Occidentalism by including the Sinosphere's perspective of what is East and West. While students of translation, sociolinguistics and cross-cultural studies may benefit most from the discussion (there are copious notes and indices of names and of ideas), the heart of the work is pure essay, "a work of travel by the path of language" that "leads us through delicious nuances . . . into important mysteries." Robin D. Gill is an American, who began to study Japanese as an adult and published his first seven books in that language while working as an acquisitions editor and translation checker of fine nonfiction for Japanese publishers. His most recent book, and first in English, Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! boasts close to 1000 holothurian haiku. The three most common adjectives used by reviewers describing him and his work are "eclectic," "erudite" and "fun."