Nanami Matsumoto, the author of “Sensei”, is a true master of the English language who uses it to his advantage throughout the book and who writes in a casual yet fluent manner. He uses conversational language as well as formal language throughout the text, which makes reading an enjoyable experience for the reader.
Matsumoto gives readers the impression that he is simply another “Master” of the Japanese language, but he is actually nothing more than a student of Zen Master, Matzoh. It is a great story and one that I’m sure many people would love to hear, especially when they find that they can relate to the experience and have it in their own lives. The book is structured into chapters and then each chapter ends with a question and answers section. It was a great book to take with me on vacation to Japan.
The book is written in a very casual manner which is something that many of the books that are written by authors who don’t use the correct style tend to lack. Matsumoto is so easy to read and so easy to relate to that it was easy to get me hooked on the story and the characters and learn to appreciate what they were saying. I enjoyed the book, but I do have some complaints with it. I would like to have seen more of the background of Matsumoto’s life. He was born in Japan but grew up in Canada and in the United States. Maybe he could have included this information in one or two of the questions and answers segments or perhaps the book would have been a bit shorter without it.
Matsumoto also writes in a slightly Japanese-influenced tone but this may not be to your liking. Many of his words and phrases could use a little tweaking but this is the author. His tone is not stiff and he does tend to ramble at times, especially during the later portions of the text. Again, I think he could have used a little more of this but overall the text flows well. He does provide you with enough material to understand the subject matter, but he doesn’t go too far with it. For instance, Matsumoto mentions Matzoh as the father of the Zen Master, but he never explains why. However, you may be able to figure that out in another book.
I would recommend this book to people who are interested in learning about Zen Buddhism, or who may be interested in teaching others about it. or who may just enjoy reading about how things are done in the Japanese culture. The book contains a lot of interesting information and is not dry or boring. Matsumoto does go off topic occasionally, but you would probably expect that from a book about the life of a Zen Master, but other than that the book is very informative and provides insight into this culture, history, and philosophy.
“Sensei” is a quick read, and you don’t need a dictionary to understand the text and the lessons that are given. I was able to read the entire book in less than thirty minutes. I highly recommend this book to anyone who are looking to expand their knowledge of Japanese culture and who enjoys reading about Zen Buddhism.