Adam Komisarof: Author, Professor

At Home AbroadWith Japan’s working population greying and rapidly dwindling, supplementing the labour shortage with non-Japanese workers has been proposed as one solution to this demographic crisis. It is crucial, however, that foreign nationals not only be “imported,” but also that Japanese and non-Japanese can coexist comfortably and ultimately thrive together.  This is the focus of the newly-released At Home Abroad: The Contemporary Western Experience in Japan.  Prof. Adam Komisarof is a Visiting Academic at The Nissan Institute, University of Oxford, and a former JET, and his book launch at the will be held at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation on March 26th  There will be an interactive talk from 6-7pm, followed by a drinks reception from 7-8pm. Registration is required on the Daiwa bookings page here.

Register early to guarantee your space for the launch of this already quick-selling book!  There is no charge to attend.

* Now the Daiwa event has passed, you can still get a copy of the book through Amazon Japan here.

1. What do you do, and why?

I am a professor in Reitaku University’s Department of Economics and Business Administration and have lived in Japan for 16 years.  I am now in the middle of a sabbatical year, serving as a senior associate member of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and conducting research as a visiting academic at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies.  As a bilingual intercultural trainer (Japanese and English), I have conducted workshops for thousands of participants in Japan, the United States, Southeast Asia, and Europe.  I have over 40 publications, including two books, On the Front Lines of Forging a Global Society: Japanese and American Coworkers in Japan (2011) and At Home Abroad: The Contemporary Western Experience in Japan (2012).

I became interested in the field of intercultural communication when I realized that its main concepts described very well the cultural differences which I’d experienced in Japan—differences which I could not put into words until I discovered this field.  Also, I learned how to deal effectively with these cultural differences so I could develop positive relationships with my Japanese co-workers, neighbours, and family members.

2. Why should people read it your book?

My latest book, At Home Abroad: The Contemporary Western Experience in Japan, is essential reading for people who are searching for keys to developing synergistic, effective relationships between Japanese and non-Japanese in the workplace and their communities.  The book launch will be held at the Anglo-Japanese Daiwa Foundation on March 26th.  My talk about the book will be followed by a discussion and drinks afterwards.  Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required here.

3. What are your top tips for attendees/people who are interested in your niche?

Come to the book launch!  I will give advice there and open your eyes to new ways of thinking about intercultural communication.  My book will be sold at a special rate—cheaper than if you buy it online.  And of course, I am glad to sign your copy.

4. What’s your favourite Japanese thing in London?

My favourite Japanese-related thing to do in London is to see the permanent collection at The British Museum.  The historical artefacts that they have from Japan are tremendous.

 Prof Adam Komisarof

Prof Adam Komisarof

At Home Abroad: The Contemporary Western Experience in Japan

Published by Reitaku University Press

With Japan’s working population greying and rapidly dwindling, supplementing the labour shortage with non-Japanese workers has been proposed as one solution to this demographic crisis. It is crucial, however, that foreign nationals not only be “imported,” but also that Japanese and non-Japanese can coexist comfortably and ultimately thrive together.

Professor Komisarof focuses in this book on one group of foreign nationals—attempting to discover the essence of the contemporary Western experience in Japan by interviewing 12 trailblazers who intimately know the heart of Japan. The interviewees describe heading a multinational corporation, life in a remote mountain hamlet, the inner sanctum of the Japanese entertainment industry, and much more. Luminaries such as Donald Keene, Donald Richie and Patrick Harlan reveal the extent to which they feel accepted within Japanese society as well as what can be done by both Japanese and non-Japanese to strengthen the inclusion of foreign nationals.

A rigorous analysis following the interviews explores the keys to creating a more global Japan and actualizing positive intercultural communication between Japanese and Westerners. This book is essential reading for people who are searching for keys to developing synergistic, effective relationships between Japanese and non-Japanese in the workplace and beyond.

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