I am a 37-year-old Caucasian male who has lived in Japan for four years. My attitude with regard to posturing “standout” assimilators would be accepted as the norm in my native Australia. I would say to Paul de Vries that if he came to Japan more to learn than to preach, then he should stop doing exactly what he came here not to do.
De Vries’ May 26 article, “Expat life in Japan,” was less than coherent, reeked more than a little of self-aggrandizement, and was in need of an editor to ask what the point is.
Furthermore, if after 17 years I had achieved only “moderate” assimilation, I would (a) rethink my strategy and (b) not be so bold as to assume that this would qualify me to work on a book on what the world can learn from Japan.
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