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Atomic Sushi

As the first British Professor of Philosophy since 1882 to be invited to teach at the prestigious and enigmatic University of Tokyo - the Oxbridge of Japan - Simon May enjoyed a degree of access denied to other commentators. Each chapter of the book focuses on some everyday human matter, such as love, death, bureaucracy, hygiene, food, toilets, commuting, education, marriage and memory. Japanese attitudes to such issues are explored through a mixture of light-hearted anecdote and trenchant analysis, and through his vivid accounts of Kafkaesque bureaucracy, flying goldfish, gangsters at funerals, businessmen paying good money to be whipped, doctors faking death certificates and cover-ups at all levels of society, Simon May manages to expose the foibles of a people who have captivated and mystified the West for nearly two centuries.
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About the Author

Dr Simon May is Fellow in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. His writing draws not only on his wide philosophical learning, but also on his experience outside academia, in international politics and business. Dr May has been a close adviser to various world statesmen, held senior positions in the European Union, and served on the Board of Directors of both public and private companies.


"May goes to weddings, funerals, meetings with high-powered businessmen and New Year's Eve celebrations with Zen Buddhists, providing a series of brief but well-observed and often funny snapshots of life in Japan." "Times Literary Supplement""

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