"I'm antioxidised like never before"
It's easy to understand why this is standard reading for students of Japan and Japanese culture. For 2 months I've drunk nothing but green tea - I'm antioxidised like never before - and I even tracked down some saké from a Japanese restaurant in Manchester before finding it in my local Tesco. I've eaten plenty of rice, pickled vegetables and fish. I've found a samisen album on Spotify that was on repeat for a while. What it didn't do for me was the basic requirement of a novel; it didn't grip me. The entire plot and action would make a wonderful 500 page novel, but the major plot points were dragged too far apart for me to really enjoy it. Given the chance to develop, I didn't really feel as if I 'knew' any of the characters, even though the story is told from various viewpoints.