|The Great Wave off Kanagawa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Japan imports and domestically spreads a wealth of information from all over the world. Every small town bookstore is filled with Japanese translations of valuable foreign literature.
Yet, "ALIENS", as foreigners are called in Japan, in their own countries usually have very little if any information about Japan. In (large) bookstores I recently visited in Germany I probably could have counted German translations of Japanese books with one hand! And those books, materials acutally present did not really appear to me as representative and informative examples of Japanese culture and concepts.
As an ACUPUNCTURIST I am probably best able to judge the situation in relation to my special field, oriental medicine. Some of the available translations rather bring shame on the more than 1000-year long tradition of oriental medicine in Japan.
I really wonder why in the face of the booming popularity of so-called "alternative therapies" so few of the many GOOD books (here I speak for Japan and Japanese books) are translated.
Recently I participated in a national conference on acupuncture in Japan. A guest speaker representing the NIH held a lecture detailing the establishment of guidelines regarding research into and application of acupuncture in the United States. This lecture revealed, that the incentive to start studies of acupuncture are already more than 20 years old. Yet, the consensus conference supposed to provide the relevant answers for the issues at hand could not reach any conclusions until the mid-ninties, because there were "too few data/usable research". The persons in charge had been looking in China and throughout the world - except in Japan. Here the kind of research had been conducted since the mid-sixties.
Thus, because other countries are not really looking, and Japan itself not actively providing this information, Japan has been and apparently still is
a sort of "undiscovered island"
along the so-called information highway!
If publishers should be interested in providing such materials, I would be glad to offer my services. Maybe this would also help a large portion of the world population to get finally access to a large body of valuable information on Japan.