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GAIJIN: Nine Cautionary Tales of Life in Japan's English Teaching Community by Peter Smith

GAIJIN: Nine Cautionary Tales of Life in Japan's English Teaching Community

by Peter Smith

302 pages
GAIJIN: Nine Cautionary Tales is the story of a number of folk who, for a variety of reasons – love, money, family - decide to make their home in Japan. It’s a study of the often bizarre, sometimes tragic ways their lives develop.

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Category: Memoir:Expat
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About the Book
That itch is getting worse. Your dreary office job is simply not doing it for you. You’re sick of reading all those exciting tales of other people taming gorillas in Rwanda or scaling Andean peaks. How you wish you were brave enough to quit and follow in their footsteps. Isn’t there somewhere a little less scary?

And then one day you see the advert in the paper: “Teach English in Japan! Experience a new culture! Earn money!”

Now that’s more like it, you say. Yes, Japan! Perfect! An enticing blend of the exotic and the modern. And safe too!

Next thing, you’re on the plane, excited at the prospect of your own adventure about to start.

What could possibly go wrong?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

'GAIJIN: Nine Cautionary Tales of Life in Japan's English Teaching Community' is the story of a bunch of ordinary folk who, for a variety of reasons, decide to strike out and make a new life for themselves in the Far East. We watch as their lives unfold. There are highs and lows. There are shocks and surprises aplenty. There’s a contender for the world’s worst karaoke performance.

There are challenges and tough choices. Spoiler alert: It rarely ends well.

Anyone who’s spent time in Japan will find plenty to relate to.

And anyone considering a change of country might do well to read this first.

Some people are probably better off staying home.


Peter Smith’s 25 year tenure in Japan is masterfully woven into a series of chapter-length character sketches, depicting the standard foreigner types and their experiences. An entertaining account of the foreigner existence, informative for even Japan’s long-term residents. Highly recommended. A wonderful read.
- Paul de Vries, regular contributor to multiple Asian newspapers.
The oddball collisions of foreigners swimming among the Japanese population has never been captured more cleverly. A precious collection of bizarre twists of fate. Fortunately, we have Peter Smith to record the craziest cast of characters and their foolhardy endeavors so memorably. Read or forever feel your life half-full.
- Greg Meline, illiterate Japanophile.
An enjoyable, educational and truly funny read. It made me both laugh and grimace. Whether you’re a veteran like me or just off the boat, these stories will resonate, and the characters depicted will stick with you for months.
- William Kervin, grizzled Japan veteran of 33 years.



About the Author
Peter Smith was born in Yorkshire. He lives in Kumamoto, Japan, with his wife and two daughters.



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