Oliver, a good quality Londoner and colleague of mine, has kindly lent me a book to read called Atomic Sushi. As the name suggests it has something to do with Japan in one form or another.
It's written by an English chap by the name of Dr Simon May, a crystal-ball-gazing professor of all things philosophical in London. He spent a year in Japan working at Tokyo University.
The book provides some sort insight into May's time here. He clearly explains some truths about Japan - especially with his examples of the bureaucracy and red-tape that oils the cogs of this nation.
I dispute some of the details of his stories however. He just seemed to walk in on some very interesting situations like a wedding, a death and a funeral (all incidents very much independent of each other) - all involving people he didn't know but suddenly become a part of proceedings.
The book is some 200 pages and I read it over two nights. It's a quality read, but most of the quality was packed into the first night/half, the second nights read wasn't as exciting.
I'm sure it's available to purchase on Amazon. I might get myself my own copy for nostalgic reasons.