Title: My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy!
Author: Grace Buchele Mineta
Genre: Non-Fiction, Comics, Autobiographical (to a degree)
Don’t let fear prevent you from doing something you love.
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Grace Mineta became popular with her blog and YouTube videos documenting life in Tokyo as a Texan married to a Japanese man. My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy! is a collection of some of her earliest comics about her experiences in Japan, and the struggles and joys of intercultural marriage.
As a big fan of Texan in Tokyo, it seemed quite obvious that I would at some point support Grace and buy her book, firstly because I think she produces excellent content online but mostly because I love comic books! The comic had quite an amateur feel to it, but I think that was half its charm, and I think rather than a criticism that became one of its greatest strengths – there was a real sense of authenticity with the stories told. Also, I think it shows the journey of Grace’s artistic talent; looking at more recent comics on her website, you can see how she has progressed creatively from those first doodles.
Saying that, I was a little underwhelmed by a few of the comic strips but many of them were very informative, or just fun; ‘Introducing the ‘Earthquake Game”‘ made me chuckle, because that’s exactly the sort of thing I would do. Every so many comics there would be an article or list, and these were some of the most engaging parts of the book. Titles included “7 Questions Interracial Couples are Tired of Hearing” and it was surprising and sad to see the prejudice that Grace and Ryosuke have been subjected to. The section on onsens was also really fascinating, and I would visit an onsen during my next visit to Japan on Grace’s recommendation alone.
I’ll be buying her two other comic collections in the next few months, mostly because I am interested in learning more about the Japanese culture, and I enjoy Grace’s perspective of her experiences in Tokyo. As a result, it does pain me to say that I think the comic book could have been better, though I wonder if my criticisms are more just “teething problems” that are smoothed out by the second and third books. After all, as Grace says in her introduction, she never intended these early drawings to be published.
Before buying the comic, I definitely recommend checking out the Texan in Tokyo blog and YouTube – it really grounds the comics in reality when you remember they are a real-life married couple, and their ‘Day in My Life’ videos are very interesting. Here’s one of my favourites: A Day in My Life (#18): Hunting for crafts at the 100yen shop.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆½ (3.5/5)
You can check out my own adventures in Tokyo here.