Less than six months after throwing in his management job to take up teaching Nicholas Klar finds himself on the 'JET Program' and a plane to Japan - ending up in the far reaches of rural Niigata prefecture teaching English. Never one to be taken too seriously he spends his time far beyond the beaten tourist path in often carousing encounters with Elvis impersonators, love hotels, toilets, train schedules, cults, hostess girls, freezing weather, the local garbage-man and postal workers, plus an awful lot of drinking and the recording of a bizarre incident where a cow falls out of the sky.
Combining humour, wonder, social commentary and a good deal of eclectic research the author veritably crams his pages chock-full of tales of culture shock, humorous anecdotes and insights, reflections upon his own life and cultural baggage, strange facts, plus cultural incongruities and marvels. He inevitably falls in with a motley crew of acquaintances along the way and revealed are many of the personalities he encounters - both Japanese and foreigners.
My Mother is a Tractor is rollicking, fact-filled ride through the Land of the Rising Sun that will amuse and inform all - from Japanofiles to the merely curious. If you are "signing up" for Japan this book has been rated a ". . must read" by Rough Guide Japan and The Crazy Japan Times.
Nicholas Klar is a peripatetic teacher and writer originally from Adelaide, Australia. He has lived in four different countries, studied in Australia and the U.S., and has travelled widely through Asia and the Pacific. His most recent incarnation was as Senior Head of House at a private international college in Shanghai, China. His only real claims to recent fame were that he was, 1) the only person in the whole of Shanghai without a mobile phone, and 2) apparently the only non-beer drinking Australian in the whole of Asia.
Previously he was resident in Japan where he was a regular contributor to the JET Journal, Niigata JOHO and other magazines, plus in addition was editor/webmaster of The Joetsu goodo Travel Guide and Welcome to Myoko-kogen.He has had several short stories, travelogues, articles and essays published previously in various media such as The Japan Times, Shanghai Daily, Fukuoka-Now, Jetstreams and Voyage but 'My Mother is a Tractor' is his first full-length book.
At present he is on a writing sabbatical and looking forward to new adventures. His ambition is to be very rich without ever having to actually work for it...and to never hear the words 'Let's climb Mount Fuji' again.