The Old Sow in the Back Room

By Harriet Sergeant,

Book cover of The Old Sow in the Back Room: An Englishwoman in Japan

Book description

The Japanese manufacture myths as efficiently as they do televisions, and are as adept at selling them to men who visit their country. Since it is men who write most books on Japan, those myths are perpetuated in the West. Women, though, do not count in that most foreign of…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

1 author picked The Old Sow in the Back Room as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Every society has its seamy underside but few foreigners have focused on it with the laser-like intensity of Harriet Sergeant, who spent just enough time in Japan to get closely acquainted, but not so long that she ever felt cozy. Want to know just how miserable is the lot of Japanese women? The bleak saga of Japan’s almost invisible, unmentionable caste of untouchables, the Burakumin? The endemic corruption that underpinned the economic miracle? The torments endured by young children whose parents demand perfection? It’s all here, beautifully written and laced with mischievous humour.

From Peter's list on modern Japan.

Want books like The Old Sow in the Back Room?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like The Old Sow in the Back Room.

Browse books like The Old Sow in the Back Room

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Japan, Tokyo, and Samurais?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Japan, Tokyo, and Samurais.

Japan Explore 482 books about Japan
Tokyo Explore 87 books about Tokyo
Samurais Explore 40 books about Samurais