Monday, 15 July 2013

Ink Blog Tour **Guest Post** Katie's Japan

I'm extremely excited to announce that today, Pen to Paper is host to the blog tour for Ink by Amanda Sun! I have a fabulous guest post from Amanda for you guys, about her own experience of living in Japan, and how that has been translated into Katie's version of the country. It's a fabulous read, so stick with me - but first, here's a little information about the book, if you haven't already heard about it!

Series: Paper Gods #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Mira Ink
Release date: 5th July 2013
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads synopsis:


Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum's death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they're near each other, Tomohiro's drawings start to come to life…

Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth.

Katie's Japan: A Guest Post by Amanda Sun

When I lived in Japan during high school and was newly arrived in Osaka, my host sister and I were sitting in the train station on our way to Kyoto. Our section of the station was empty, with only an elderly woman at the other end of a long row of seats by the track.

The lady got up, moved a few seats over, and sat down again. Then a minute later, she moved a few more. And a few more. And suddenly she sat right beside me, reached for my long blond hair and started braiding it. In the station. Like I was a living doll. And said, “Isn’t she cute?” She proceeded to ask my host sister a million questions about me, as if I were a child who couldn’t answer—and in a way, I was. My Japanese was far from fluent, and in some way I’d been downgraded to the level of an infant in terms of communicating and expressing myself.

Believe me—we take for granted our ability to communicate until it’s taken from us.

This experience repeated itself in different ways during my time in Japan. Sometimes I got special treatment—a man gave me slices of bread to feed the koi at a temple—and sometimes other foreigners saw my blond hair and approached me as if we were friends, asking for help to buy train tickets or how to get where they were going. They assumed I spoke English, because of how I looked, and how I didn’t fit in.

This is the Japan Katie enters into in INK. She sticks out through her appearance and cultural blunders. She will always be an outsider in this sense. In SHADOW, she thinks it will be easy to make new friends at school, but when she enters her new classroom—crickets. Katie experiences many responses to her differences in Japan—others being overly kind or politely ignoring her, singling her out or letting her get away with things.

But ultimately, what’s important is that throughout INK, Katie meets friends who looks past those differences and see what we have in common. And sometimes being from the outside means we’re able to look with new eyes and really appreciate the culture for what it is.

When I visit Japan now, I still get all different treatments. While walking through Sunpu Park, some people will smile and say hello, while others will politely look away as I pass. But when I’m with my friends and host family, I don’t feel any different at all. We can chat, laugh, and just be ourselves. And that’s what Katie finds too, through her friends Yuki and Tanaka, and Tomohiro.

I hope you’ll enjoy experiencing Japan through Katie’s eyes, and that INK will make this country I love accessible to you.

What do you think of Ink? Are you excited to read it? Have you already read it (what did you think)? What do you think of Amanda's post? Let us all know in the comments below the post - I look forward to hearing your thoughts! :)

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mmogoinglong said...

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh it is so nice to read about Amanda's time in Japan. I've already read "Ink" and totally enjoyed it. I am familiar with Japanese culture and religions because I always was interested in and also love manga/anime/dorama. It was such a fun to read a book placed in such an interesting setting with all the differences by culture and the really cool fantasy aspect.

Have a nice day & best wishes from Germany!

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