In the last few years I have written two books on Japan. One on ikigai and another one on nagomi. With these attempts, I have hopefully presented the best in the tradition of the land of the rising sun.
As I have written in the small print sections of these books, I had no intention of claiming that Japan is the best, or indeed, unique among nations on the globe. Each culture has its own merits and strengths, juxtaposed with shortcomings and weaknesses. Japan is far from perfect, especially when it comes to gender equality, for example.
In a way, with the ikigai and nagomi books I have presented a vision of what Japan could be, could have been, and would be, in addition to what it actually is. I believe realities can be seen from a new and hope-giving perspective, when you have the perception and good will to achieve that.
I really admired the film Saving Mr. Banks. It told the true story behind Mary Poppins. As a lover of the excellent musical film, I believe in the alchemy of transformation from the actual Mr. Banks to the fictional character, depicting what he could have been, inspiring people.
In the same spirit, I wanted to do something in the spirit of Saving Japan, while remaining true to the essential nature of the nation. Sometimes, you see the real self better from a distance.