This blogger skimmed the book “Minka” by John Roderick, published in 2008. The author, a journalist, began working at the Tokyo bureau of Associated Press in 1959.
Roderick wrote about how the American government “… believed that a strong, re-armed, industrialized Japan could become a valuable ally in the Cold War against Soviet and Chinese communism.” So Japan’s postwar economic recovery was achieved through the building of numerous new factories and job creation. This produced a change in Japanese culture by encouraging demand for material wealth among the people, who had suffered severe deprivation.
The author soon grew tired of Tokyo’s pollution and workaholism. He considered returning to Paris, with its first-rate cuisine and wine, clear skies and citizens who liked a healthy debate. However, he met some people who introduced him to rural life in Japan. They compelled him into buying a specially priced “house in the country” (“minka”); due to the nature of Japanese culture, the author could not refuse. They talked in “polite circumlocutions.”
Read the book to learn other aspects of the culture, the arduous real-estate sales process, and the house’s subsequent relocation and renovations.