There is a dramatic difference between reading Japanese that is tailored to students, and reading real Japanese that has been written for native speakers. The concocted variety tends to be insipid, flat, stiff, standardized, completely lacking in exciting and imaginative use of language. Read Real Japanese Essays, and its companion volume Read Real Japanese Fiction, allows readers to experience the work of several of todays foremost writers as if they were lifelong Japanese speakers.
JANET ASHBY is a freelance writer and translator who has lived in Japan since 1975. She has written a long-running column in the Japan Times on Japanese books, and has a particular interest in Japanese popular culture. She is the co-author of Japanese: The Spoken Language in Japanese Life and the author of the original Read Real Japanese, of which this book is a remake.