The subject of the exotic and alien other is a perennial. In Japanese literature the foreign influence is usually traced to its reappearance in a native product and the results are appraised.

In this interesting new accounting, however, Leith Morton gives us ample indication of what happens to the outside influence once it gets inside. "I am concerned with how modern Japanese writers discovered the foreign, the exotic, or even the alien within themselves."

As the final example in this examination the author centers on "the most celebrated Japanese writer of his generation," Haruki Murakami — in especial his 2001 "Shidonii!" a chronicle of the Sydney Olympics. This includes his meticulously kept "Sydney Diary" which Morton mines for information.