Meet the Author

Rebecca Otowa

Rebecca Otowa was born in 1955 in California, and moved to Australia with her family at age 12. After graduating BA (Hons. Japanese Language and Literature) from Queensland University, she received a scholarship to study in Japan and went to Kyoto in 1978. She graduated with an MA in Japanese Buddhism from Otani University. 

While at Otani University, she met Toshiro Otowa, an engineering student who was a member of the Japan Australia Society, and with each other’s culture as a bond, they started dating and were married in 1981. 

In 1986 the Otowa family, which now included two sons, moved back to Toshiro’s  ancestral home in Shiga Prefecture, ready to become the 19th generation to take up occupancy in a 350-year old samurai farmhouse in the countryside near Kyoto. Rebecca has lived there ever since, raising her two boys, writing books, drawing, gardening, and participating in village life.

To date she has published three books, At Home in Japan (essays, Tuttle 2010), My Awesome Japan Adventure (children’s book, Tuttle 2013) and The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper (short stories, Tuttle 2019). All are illustrated by the author. She has also painted over 50 pictures of various genres, and held 2 shows (2015 and 2019).

Goshen Books Proudly Presents:

Rebecca Otowa, author of At Home in Japan (2010), My Awesome Japan Adventure (2013), The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper (2019), from Tuttle Publishers.

August 1, 2021 8-9 pm Japan Time

Doors open on Zoom: 7:30 pm Please note: Due to the recording of this event, doors - so to speak - close at 8:00 pm so please arrive before 8:00 pm.

Finding Home Far From Home--A series of conversations with writers about the lives and their writing process

Rebecca Otowa is a writer and artist who has been living in Japan for 40 years, almost two-thirds of her life. A longtime resident of a small farming community in Shiga Prefecture, Rebecca will read from her acclaimed book of essays, At Home in Japan, and how she learned that the totality of her identity includes both Japanese and Western aspects. In this Zoom event, she will be interviewed by Liane Grunberg Wakabayashi, and answer questions about her remarkable relationship with the home she has occupied as the wife of the nineteenth generation heir. Participants are also invited to ask questions about how Rebecca approaches the writing process that lovingly goes into each book she creates.

To find out more about Rebecca, see:

To reserve your place please RSVP to:

Free And Open To The Public

Whisper of the Land
– Visions of Japan

“Who are we to really know what awaits us on our journeys, both the outer tangible steps we take and the inner path that tries to guide those steps? The process of doing things fascinates me. But it is the inspirations gained from nature and the contemplative life that brings me joy and feeds my photographic art, all my writings, and life as a whole. Having made my home in Japan has deeply influenced all aspects of my being.” Edward says, adding that he will happily take questions on any subject from gardening to photography and writing, or tips on daily meditative attunement practices that aid inspiration.

Images from the world of Rebecca Otowa

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