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10 thoughts on “The Secrets of Mariko A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family

  1. says:

    Journalist and author Elizabeth Bumiller writes a fascinating book in The Secrets of Mariko Part of its fascination is that it explores the life of a ordinary Japanese woman in a very personal way not trying to make a huge sociological statement with the study but to make the life of this woman open for all to have empathy forBumiller was in Japan for a few years on assignment with her husband and family and had heard so much about the life of the normal Japanese housewife that she set out to chronicle it to find out if it was as bad as many people said She found her typical housewife in Mariko and met with her for over a year learning about her her family a husband and 3 kids her feelings and her wants and needs Mariko also took care of her elderly parents who live in the same house both of who are ailing from failing healthBumiller's narrative is personalshe states that sometimes she had pre conceived notions that get changed along this year long journey And she does not merely focus on Mariko she looks at things in Mariko's life that fascinate her and explores those too Fro instance Mariko takes part in a shrine carrying festival where she mingles with Yakuza the Japanese mob Bumiller is intrigued with how this very middle class woman relates to the Yakuza and finds a way to interview the local gang's leaderWhat we get out of this curiosity is a larger picture of Japanese society a society that is homogeneous to the point of xenophobia and that is so strictly structured that to be different is to be ostracized by the group mentality But Bumiller is also sympathetic and caring and tries and succeeds in letting us understand the differences between our cultures Even she and in turn her audience understands the similarities between two cultures and how we all strive towards some kind of acceptanceThe Secrets of Mariko is an excellent book and as true as I can see from my own experiences staying with Japanese friends Anyone interested in Japanese culture should read and will enjoy it


  2. says:

    Elizabeth Bumiller has written a fascinating book about one year in the life of a contemporary Japanese family She had extraordinary access to the family and worked with an interpreter I was a little surprised at how Bumiller inserted her own criticisms of the Japanese culture into the book rather than just recording her observations The central focus was on Mariko the wife of the family but Bumiller also explored the lives of the other family members a husband three children and Mariko's two aging parents The fascinating part was learning about the customs and s of a middle class Japanese life in the late 20th century The picture Bumiller painted was uite dark and unappealing to my Western sensibilities I was able to warm up to the family members but found nothing in their lives to envy I've always loved the Japanese artistic aesthetic their fine and decorative arts but found none of that in the daily life of these people That was curious


  3. says:

    This is totally my kind of thing The author spends a year closely observing and interviewing Mariko with the help of an interpreter You really get to know Mariko in a personnal way I wanted the whole book to be about Mariko and her life but the author needed to do a lot of explaining about Japanese society and give all the backround on the whys and hows and all I have all that info already being such a nut for all things Japanese But the intimate look into the life of a typical Japanese woman much like myself in many ways was so interesting My favorite part was the meter reading That would be my dream job I would love to be out walking about on my own finding each house and snatching glances into people's lives This book was a great find Thi book was written about 10 years ago I wonder what Mariko is up to now


  4. says:

    This book was a reading assignment in college some 20 years back As a young person then I found this book dry because I was expecting a fictitious adventure of Mariko 20 years on I found this book rich in dissecting the Japanese culture Appreciate the sociological perspective of the writer who wrote with such honesty on how she viewed Japanese through her interaction with Mariko and the community whom was an integral part of Mariko’s life Glad I revisited this book as a matured reader and someone who was eually fascinated with the Japanese


  5. says:

    Not a good book for entertainment value but it presents information in a readable way If you're interested in learning some interesting facts about Japanese culture I would suggest this book but that's about as far as I would go Mariko's secret she had an affair Oh yeah spoiler alert


  6. says:

    Great book about the life of ordinary Japanese woman


  7. says:

    Mariko is a middle class Japanese housewife whose life was chronicled for one year by the author There were a few surprises although there is little crime there are plenty of antagonisms in Japan; Mariko and her husband had both been unfaithful in the past; although the grandparents live with the family the children barely speak to them and Mariko resents having to care for them; etc I wouldn't recommend the book and I can't remember where I read the favorable review which caused me to pick it up


  8. says:

    This book was fascinating to me and as difficult to put down as a novel at times What genius to one modern ordinary Japanese woman's life to explore the social fabric of Japan This book provides a deep glimpse into marriage expectations familial obligation benevolent fascism conformism and consensus culture that support the structure of Japanese society It was interesting to hear of the Japanese opinion on Americans as well Great book to read if you're interested in learning about cross cultural social dynamics


  9. says:

    SO MANY FEELINGS


  10. says:

    This book details how many responsibilities a traditional Japanese woman endures I have to put that word in uotes because women of Mariko's mother's and grandmother's generation probably worked harder than Marikophysical labor at least This book details how both men and women in Japan are stressed It is no wonder that the population of Japan is stagnating and is expected to decline drastically becoming a crisis Who will look after the elderly? This is just one reason though Others include an unbalanced work life culture In Japan men live to work instead of work to live Also housing prices are terribly highThis book was written in the early 1990s so an updated case study would be helpful Japan has changed and will continue to do so Will Japan make it easier for married couples to have children or will they brings in foreign workers?or will the population be cut in half by mid century?


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The Secrets of Mariko A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family

Free read The Secrets of Mariko A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family

PTA meetings bicker with her teenagers and pursue independence through her part time job they come to see Mariko as someone whose dreams and disappointments mirror our o. SO MANY FEELINGS

Review º PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ Elisabeth Bumiller

As it follows a Japanese housewife named Mariko Tanaka over the course of a year The Secrets of Mariko transcends reportage to yield the kind of human insights we expect. Elizabeth Bumiller has written a fascinating book about one year in the life of a contemporary Japanese family She had extraordinary access to the family and worked with an interpreter I was a little surprised at how Bumiller inserted her own criticisms of the Japanese culture into the book rather than just recording her observations The central focus was on Mariko the wife of the family but Bumiller also explored the lives of the other family members a husband three children and Mariko's two aging parents The fascinating part was learning about the customs and s of a middle class Japanese life in the late 20th century The picture Bumiller painted was uite dark and unappealing to my Western sensibilities I was able to warm up to the family members but found nothing in their lives to envy I've always loved the Japanese artistic aesthetic their fine and decorative arts but found none of that in the daily life of these people That was curious Gay on a Dare uite dark and Cooking for Beginners unappealing to my Western sensibilities I was able to warm By His Own Might up to the family members but found nothing in their lives to envy I've always loved the Japanese artistic aesthetic their fine and decorative arts but found none of that in the daily life of these people That was curious

Elisabeth Bumiller ☆ 6 Summary

From literature Meet Mariko a cheerful overscheduled woman who cares for three children two aging parents and an unresponsive husband As readers watch Mariko take part in. Great book about the life of ordinary Japanese woman