Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation

By Veronica Chambers

I didn’t hate this book, but it read like some insufficiently edited blogs. There weren’t mistakes per se, although I doubt some of the figures presented (like Japanese men having $10,000 a day to spend on food and entertainment). It was more like unusual analogies or descriptors would be repeated within two pages of each other, which is jarring, and far too many pop culture references. I blame the first on introduction material being added to explain the grouping of shorter essays (and no one bothering to read a chapter all the way through) and the second on just being the kind of writing style that works better online than in a book. I don’t know for sure that it was assembled from blogs but it was not put together as a book in mind first.

The content was interesting but again didn’t really gel. I think I would rather have read about the author’s experiences as an outsider who feels comfortable in Japan and her relationships with interesting women. There were too many shallow vignettes in this book. It felt rushed and episodic. I wouldn’t turn down fiction by this author, though. It’s a great voice; the story it was telling was in the wrong medium.

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