When delegates at a whisky fair in Paris prepared to meet the author of an exhaustive study of Scotland's distilleries, they expected to be greeted by a mature Scotsman.

Imagine their surprise, then, when they learned the writer was Misako Udo, who originally hails from Nagasaki Prefecture.

"They couldn't believe that I was the author," Udo, 47, said. "They thought 'Misako Udo' was in fact a cover for a middle-aged Scotsman who wanted to get more publicity."