Friday, November 19, 2010

"Oriental" Reads

Today was a very "oriental"/Japanese day. For starters, I went to the embassy of Japan, at first, we wanted to talk to the student counsellor about studying in Japan, but she wasn't there (left early =.=) so we just read the material available, which was really informative, since they had info on the majors available.

But I managed to finish 2 books today: In the Footsteps of the 10 lost tribes (something like that), and Shinjuku Shark, which is suppose to be a very famous/popular series of detective novels from Japan.

In the footsteps of the 10 lost tribes attempts to explain the mystery of the disappearance of the 10 tribes of Israel and is written by a Jew. It's a fascinating, engaging read, although too much of it rests on conjecture (which is to be expected since there's not a lot of information, or rather, there's no definite information available). Apparently, the lost tribes had great influence on Afghanistan, China, India and more notably, Japan. According to the author, the Japanese are descendants of the exiled Israelites. It sounds plausible, although sometimes it seems a bit far fetched. And another issue is that he refers a lot to Jewish Folklore, such as using Lilith to support the Japanese mythology. (I had to look up what Lilith was, and I've been in Sunday School my whole life). The last thing is that he seems to cast the authority of the Bible in doubt, suggesting that certain things have been omitted or edited in the Bible. If you ask me, a better book is The Biblical Hebrew Origin of the Japanese People by Joseph Eidelberg; although it only focuses on the Japanese and not other countries.

The next book I finished was Shinjuku Shark, which is apparently a popular mystery series. However, it seems to be more of an American-style detective novel than a British-style detective novel. According to my understanding, American-style refers to the "tough guy", beat everyone in your way up style, while British-style has more deductive reasoning involved, like Agatha Christie's Poiret, Miss Marple or Conan's Shylock Holme's (I only remember Conan because of Detective Conan).

But I suppose, to each his (or her) own.

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