Amy Chavez has been a columnist for The Japan Times since 1997. Her 'Japan Lite' column focuses on cultural differences between Japan and the West. She has published in newspapers and magazines in Indonesia, Taiwan, New Zealand, U.K., Canada and the U.S. and has been interviewed on BBC and NPR radio. Her previous books are "Japan, Funny Side Up" and "Running the Shikoku Pilgrimage: 900 miles to Enlightenment." She lives on a small island of 500 people in Japan's Seto Inland Sea.