If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that…I’d have as many nickels as you’d expect someone to have in a country that used pounds sterling.
Never mind that. I’ll tell you anyway. The snappy title of this blog (A Fantasy of Far Japan, not “A Fantasy Off Arjapan” or anything else that doesn’t make sense) is not something I came up with myself. Actually, I nicked it from a dead guy. I’ll explain.
Back in early June of this year, after I became fascinated with Japan but before I made a commitment to learn the language, I was desperate to learn as much as I could about the country and culture. When I say “desperate”, I mean, I cared enough to read books but not enough to pay for them.
The book kept me occupied for many a daily bus commute. I found it to be a very easy read. The premise is that this Japanese guy is in France, making up conversations he would like to have with French people to explain about Japan to them. Yes, making up conversations and then writing them down and calling them a book. It’s a brilliant idea that I wish I’d thought of. I make up conversations in my head all the time! I should get paid for that!
So, it’s very dated, of course, having been published in 1905. But I like dated things (like the Brontës and Sherlock Holmes and all the other books I’ve read for free on my Kindle). And the title, after all, is brilliant enough to steal and re-purpose. And I probably learned something from it.