This is a funny, enthralling, unusual memoir which is an inspiration to anyone who wants to follow their dreams. It is the true story of how a middle aged Englishwoman, with little money, no visa, no job, no qualifications to get a job there and only one Japanese friend, could realise her dream of living and working in Japan. She opened her own English school and prospered in one of the world’s most ancient cultures: where real life is hidden under a veil of good manners and everything takes on a different meaning.

The story revolves around the Japanese people themselves as their lives intermingle with the author’s as she endeavours to survive and prosper in this land of mystery, where incredible kindness goes hand in hand with institutionalised cruelty.

It also enables the reader to look behind the scenes of a unique theatre company. The Takarazuka Review Company is over a hundred years old and is a phenomena in Japan with over 420 female performers who play both the male and female roles on stage. Millions of Japanese housewives fall in love with the ‘male’ players, many devoting their lives to supporting and helping their chosen star. It’s an intriguing world of entertainment in a fascinating, contradictory and unique country where nothing is as it seems and dreams really do come true.

‘A very impressive piece of work’

Robert Hale Ltd. Publishers, London

‘I have read many books about Japan. Business books, novels and general books about Japan and its people, but none get beneath the surface as well as yours. We are doing so much business with Japan I am getting my colleagues to read your book and they all say how much insight it gives them’

Robert Ettinger, Managing Director of Ettinger, London.

‘I absolutely loved this book! It’s very funny and totally enthralling and I learnt so much about the life and culture of Japan’

Jeffrey Holland, Actor

‘The whole book is a delight and so absorbing and interesting. It really is an inspiration to anyone who wants to follow their dream’

Judy Buxton, Actress

Reviews from Amazon Readers

‘The author understands Japan at a level that is much deeper than you usually see in a memoir. She opened my eyes to many things and explained, in her straightforward and honest manner, many cultural elements that had left me baffled’

‘Jill Rutherford conveys a fantastic insight into Japan and also makes the reader feel as though you went on this special journey with her’

‘Well written, entertaining, educational and informative’

‘The author takes us behind the scenes into the emotional reality of Japan’

‘I really like Jill Rutherford’s writing style, it was funny and engaging’