A long time ago I was looking through a bookstore in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, and I found two of Alex Kerr’s books. They were “Lost Japan” and “Dogs and Demons“. I read them both with great interest and was absolutely blown away with the writing, insight, and depth of information. Alex Kerr is one of those expats in Japan which is truly and expert in history and culture. Since reading both his books, and some years later, I have seen him on television and he is fantastically articulate and sharp in both English and Japanese.
For my part, I admire the writer and really like the books. Kerr is an impassioned and deeply concerned world citizen for the preservation of culture and nature. Unfortunately, some of his critics have mistaken “passion” for “arrogance”. I that that this kind of assessment is far off the mark. Alex Kerr knows more, studied more, did more, built more, and preserved more of art and culture than anyone I have ever seen. No one is perfect, and while some things may seem “overstated” for the tastes of some, it is a very minuscule concern when put against the canvas of such huge work and dedication.
If you have not read Alex Kerr, and if you are interested in seeing something very interesting, please do so. Here is his website: http://alex-kerr.com . The site is okay, but could use a bit of an update. Nevertheless, do not let that deter you from visiting!
Alex Kerr is also responsible for the establishment of the Chiiori Trust, a cultural preservation project in Tokushima prefecture that sprouted from a traditional home he rescued from decay in the 1970’s. If you are interested in learning more, or having a very unique and original immersion experience in Japan, please check out this link: http://alex-kerr.com/html/chiiori_trust.html
Also, head on over to your local book store or order on-line: Lost Japan and Dogs and Demons. Wonderful books and HIGHLY recommended.