it seems that all peter carey found in japan is disappointment and irritation. this would be fine, if he could turn those findings into an interesting book with any sort of insight. when i wasn't waiting for him to really get into it, i was busy being irritated and offended. (also annoyed with the translation/transliteration errors.)
it seems to me that all of his disappointment comes not from japan itself, but from being told that all of his show-offy theories of the effects of WWII, Commodore Perry, and Hiroshima on anime are all incorrect. he randomly injects long blocks of text from other sources about japan, presumably to give the book some sort of historical depth.
carey admits that he was wrong about japan, as the title suggests, but he also does not take seriously any of the explanations he receives from the japanese he interviews. i got the sense that once he knew he was wrong, he wasn't interested in learning more so he could be right. if he spent less time talking about his theories and examining, or even just depicting, what was actually there, it would have made for a much more interesting book.
i wonder why and how he decided his obviously unfulfilling and disappointing trip would be a topic with enough meat for a 100-something page book.