A book for comic lovers and Japanophiles of all ages, Diary of a Tokyo Teen presents a unique look at modern-day Japan through a young woman's eyes. Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. The summer before she turned sixteen, she returned to Tokyo, making a solo journey to get reacquainted with her birthplace. Through illustrations, photos, and musings, Inzer documented her journey in a self-published book. Tuttle's new, color edition of Inzer's well-reviewed volume makes this charming travelogue available to a wider audience.
In Diary of a Tokyo Teen, Inzer explores the cutting-edge fashions of Tokyo's trendy Harajuku district, eats the best sushi of her life at the renowned Tsukiji fish market, and hunts down geisha in the ancient city of Kyoto. Inzer explores the cutting-edge fashions of Tokyo's trendy Harajuku district, eats the best sushi of her life at the renowned Tsukiji fish market, and hunts down geisha in the ancient city of Kyoto.
“Inzer drew this graphic novel, newly expanded and colored, on a two-month summer trip to Japan when she was in high school; an earlier self-published version, published in 2014 as Halfway Home, generated impressive buzz. Each short, punchy episode combines drawings, photos, observations, and guides: who’s who in Japanese TV comedy, typical festival snacks, etc. Though Inzer’s mother is Japanese, Inzer grew up in the U.S., and she’s always conscious of living between two cultures. Her Japanese grandmother resists letting her explore Tokyo on her own, but Inzer persists, only to find that creepy guys sometimes harass her (“Look disgusted!” Inzer instructs readers. “Death stare!”).
At the same time, she’s attracted to boys her age (she beams a thought toward a cool boy on the subway: “Love me!”); sadly, the boys are all glued to their phones. In one sequence, Inzer pictures herself holding conversations with her 10-year-old self (inspecting a coquettish dress, little Christine sighs, “I wish Mom would let us wear this stuff!”).
About the Author
Christine Mari Inzer was born in Tokyo in 1997 to a Japanese mother and an American father. She spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. She is currently a college freshman.
"Using a blend of photos and fun illustrations, Japanese-American writer/illustrator Christine Mari Inzer travels at 15 to Tokyo to reacquaint herself with the country while offering up her Diary of a Tokyo Teen: A Japanese-American Girl Travels to the Land of Trendy Fashion, High-Tech Toilets and Maid Cafes packed with interesting observations and plenty of navel-gazing for other teenage visitors." -Travel Channel
"The book is full of interesting and funny observations on Japan and Japanese culture." -I Heart Japan blog
"Diary of a Tokyo Teen is a fun multicultural journey...the book is devoid of heavy teenage angst and instead brings the reader on a journey of wonder, fascination, and self-discovery. Teenage readers may be inspired to create their own travel diaries on their own journeys." -Asian Fortune News
"...brimming with humorous insight into Japanese culture." -Tokyo Weekender
"The art is funny, colorful, and imaginative, which enhances the reading experience. Although this book is technically a memoir, it reads like work of fiction. Inzer writes in an amusing way, highlighting the differences between her two cultures." -VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"A sweet and funny book that will entice those with an interest in Japan, as well as fans of Lucy Knisley's Relish: My Life in the Kitchen." -School Library Journal
"This funny travelogue is a portal to both modern Japan and the life of a teenage girl experiencing new things while traveling...Teens hoping to travel to Japan-or anywhere, for that matter-will have a lot to gain from Inzer's warts-and-all account of her journey." -Booklist
"Readers won't just want to go to Japan by the end of this memoir-they'll want to go with Inzer." -Publishers Weekly
For Ages: 12 - 15 years old
For Grades: 10 - 12
Number Of Pages: 128
Published: 6th September 2016
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 19.1
Weight (kg): 0.41