Review for The Only Gaijin in the Village

Review for The Only Gaijin in the Village

The Only Gaijin in the Village, Iain Maloney, Japan, Travelling, Rural, Memoir, Non-FictionA fun and interesting book about a guy who is the only foreigner in his small village in Japan.

I have been eyeing this book for ages now but Amazon didn’t have it in stock or it was 16-20 euro if it was in stock. Thankfully, another publisher apparently reprinted the book and that meant I could get the book easily! Thanks publishers who reprint~

I am always very eager to read books like this about people who immigrate to another country and their experiences there. Especially when that country is Japan. I have always loved Japan, not just for the anime and manga, but also for culture, for the trains, for nature, and more. I would love to one day go and visit. Sadly, my money says no. XD But I keep hoping.

In this book we meet Iain who has moved permanently to Japan with his wife Minori. For many reasons. I loved reading about Iain’s experiences in Japan and then especially the village. How he battles with beasts like centipedes and snakes but also with knotweeds. How he figures out how to garden (and gets tips aplenty though if they are all handy…). Wonders how to deal with cleaning/rotas in the village in which everyone has to take part. We read about cold winters and hot summers. About how slowly the village gets to learn Iain a bit more, but how some people clearly didn’t care (given that one guy was surprised Iain and Minori have been living there for 3 years). About language barriers and figuring out how to do teaching in a small village. How to handle typhoons and earthquakes. And so much more including his family and Scotland. It was very interesting to read, Iain has a very nice way of writing down things, it makes you want to keep on reading, it makes you curious.

While for most this book was what I had expected, there were some parts that just didn’t interest me. Especially when he went on a tangent about something not really related to him living in Japan, or him talking about books (none of them interesting to me). Plus, it could definitely do with a bit more chronological order, at times I was a tad confused at when something happened and where that happened in a timeline. We went from how it is in his village to how he decided on Japan to how he met his wife to his first time in Japan to teaching to family.

But all in all, a book I really enjoyed reading and I am happy that I added this one to my collection! I do hope that Iain writes more books about Japan~

Star rating, 4.5 stars

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