Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger
A brilliant and captivating insight into the bizarre nature of contemporary Japan.
Adrift in Tokyo, teaching giggling Japanese highschool girls how to pronounce Tennyson correctly, Robert Twigger came to a revelation about himself: he'd never been fit. In a bid to escape the cockroach infestation and sweaty squalor of a cramped apartment in Fuji Heights, Twigger sets out to cleanse his body and his mind. Not knowing his fist from his elbow the author is sucked into the world of Japanese martial arts, and the brutally demanding course of budo training taken by the Tokyo Riot Police, where any ascetic motivation soon comes up against blood-stained dogis and fractured collarbones.
In Angry White Pyjamas Robert Twigger skilfully blends the ancient with the modern - the ultra-traditionalism, ritual and violence of the dojo (training academy) with the shopping malls, nightclubs and scenes of everyday Tokyo life in the twenty-first century - to provide an entertaining and captivating glimpse of contemporary Japan.