At Home Abroad: The Contemporary Western Experience in Japan

Introducing a new book by current ASIJ parent and professor in Reitaku University’s Department of Economic Studies and Business Administration, Dr. Adam Komisarof.


With Japan’s graying working population rapidly dwindling, supplementing the labor shortage with non-Japanese workers has been proposed as one solution to this demographic crisis. It is crucial, however, that foreign nationals not only be “imported,” but also that Japanese and non-Japanese can coexist comfortably and ultimately thrive together.

Professor Adam Komisarof focuses on one group of foreign nationals—attempting to discover the essence of the contemporary Western experience in Japan by interviewing 12 trailblazers who intimately know the heart of Japan. The interview subjects describe heading a multinational corporation, life in a remote mountain hamlet, the inner sanctum of the Japanese entertainment industry, and much more. Luminaries such as Donald Keene, Donald Richie, and Patrick Harlan reveal the extent that they feel accepted within Japanese society as well as what they think both Japanese and non-Japanese can do to strengthen the inclusion of Westerners and other foreign nationals.

A rigorous analysis, based on both the insights of the interviewees and cutting-edge research, follows the interviews and explores the keys to building positive intercultural relationships between Japanese and Westerners as well as how to create a more global Japan. This book is essential reading for both foreign nationals trying to find their places in Japanese society and Japanese who are curious about how to build more cooperative relationships with foreign nationals.

More info

Order online at Amazon Japan

Book review by the BCCJ