The Flowers of Keiwha
200 K-pop obsessed Japanese girls at a language learning programme in Seoul; transliteration of who said what to who when and where in three languages. a handful of foreign guys? an ex-German with a chip on his shoulder? talking green elephant? minor riff on Yale & Seattle. More
==long description/ author's note
I wrote this book after 'Harajuku Sunday,' which covers 10 years in the lives of American expats in Tokyo, starting from first arrival as 22 year arts university grads to the first adult realities of being 30+. Wanting a completely different challenge, I focused on seven weeks rather than ten years, ensemble cast of 200 Japanese girls rather than half-a-dozen Westerners, Japanese abroad rather than foreigners in Japan, and a few supernatural/preternatural 'slipstream' elements rather than absolute naturalism.
The book possibly has two appeals: at least a third is somewhat overwraught 'fuzzy focus' romanticism between two artists with lots of lush description, and then much of the rest is sort of analytical/descriptive about 'Germans in Seoul' or 'which Japanese personalities interplay with which German ones' or 'how does a tri-cultural classroom divide socially.' I admit the thought does go through my mind to make this a multimedia sort of thing, complete with maps, pictures, architectual sketches, but this is some leisure activity for decades from now.
It is said that Japanese culture is inscrutable and the people are "strong but silent." Perhaps perversely, by the time you figure out what is said, it is already too late to formulate an appropriate response. THus, the Japan-expert is constantly on the fringes of things, able to participate on peripherally in a closed society, but filled with a perpetual nostalgia for the past.
Enjoy! This ebook will be free for at least three or four months, and represents one person's contribution to the collective culture of the world. I can't guarantee I can keep it zero-cost forever! -MC