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The Only Gaijin in the Village

by Iain Maloney

£12.99

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ISBN: 9781846975141
Published: 05 Mar 2020
Format: Paperback
Extent: 256
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Polygon
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About the Book

In 2016 Scottish writer Iain Maloney and his Japanese wife Minori moved to a village in rural Japan. This is the story of his attempt to fit in, be accepted and fulfil his duties as a member of the community, despite being the only foreigner in the village.

Even after more than a decade living in Japan and learning the language, life in the countryside was a culture shock. Due to increasing numbers of young people moving to the cities in search of work, there are fewer rural residents under the retirement age – and they have two things in abundance: time and curiosity. Iain’s attempts at amateur farming, basic gardening and DIY are conducted under the watchful eye of his neighbours and wife. But curtain twitching is the least of his problems. The threat of potential missile strikes and earthquakes is nothing compared to the venomous snakes, terrifying centipedes and bees the size of small birds that stalk Iain’s garden.

Told with self-deprecating humour, this memoir gives a fascinating insight into a side of Japan rarely seen and affirms the positive benefits of immigration for the individual and the community. It’s not always easy being the only gaijin in the village.


The Author

Iain Maloney

Iain Maloney is an editor and lectures on writing in Japan. He has degrees in English (Aberdeen) and Creative Writing (Glasgow) and has published three novels and a haiku collection. He reviews regularly for a number of publications including the Japan Times. He moved from Scotland in 2005 and lives in rural Japan with his wife, Minori.