Author(s): Rebecca Otowa
"This portrait of Japanese country life reminds us that at its core, a happy and healthy life is based on the bonds of food, family, tradition, community, and the richness of nature" --John Einarsen, Founding Editor and Art Director of Kyoto Journal What would it be like to move to Japan, leaving everyone you know behind, to become part of a traditional Japanese household? At Home in Japan tells an extraordinary true story of a foreign woman who goes through an amazing transformation, as she makes a move from a suburban lifestyle in California to a new life, living in Japan. She dedicates 30 years of her life as a housewife, custodian and chatelaine of a 350-year-old farmhouse in rural Japan. This astonishing book traces a circular path from were Rebecca began, to living under Japanese customs, from the basic day to day details of life in the house and village, through relationships with family, neighbors and the natural and supernatural entities with which the family shares the house. Rebecca Otowa then focuses on her inner life, touching on some of the pivotal memories of her time in Japan, the lessons in perception that Japan has taught her and the ways in which she has been changed by living in Japan. An insightful and compelling read, At Home in Japan is a beautifully written and illustrated reminiscence of a once simple life made extraordinary.
Rebecca Otowa has lived in Japan for thirty years, leaving her original home in California in 1967, and her adopted home of Brisbane, Australia in 1978, to strike out in this new life direction. She and her husband Toshiro have raised two sons and now live in a rural area near Kyoto, in a 350-year-old farmhouse that has been in the family since its construction (or perhaps more accurately, the family has been in the house). As well as writing and teaching English, Rebecca loves growing vegetables and roses, reading (with one of her four cats on her lap), sewing, cooking, and voraciously watching English-language movies. Her social life is divided between local volunteer groups and "the stage"--music, amateur theatricals and country line dancing. Her happiest days are when her sons return home with their families and everyone is together again.