Mr. Ball once again decorously making the East meet West in a well-meant novel of ecumenical harmony along with enough cups of tea to sink the Japanese archipelago. An Assistant Professor of that vague science, sociology, is sent to the rural village of Mitamura to find out whether the old culture will yield to ""pop stars and hairdos."" Indeed it won't. With him is an attractive M.A. candidate with a slight grasp of the language and many attractions, but she's a black. It would seem that the Japanese are very ""sensitive"" or hostile to skin color. When Peter and Marjorie arrive, they fred there's no (separate) room at the inn. But more enlightened Akitoshi, an artist, arranges for Peter to stay at the house of a widow Midori (being a widow is not much better than being black). Anyway they all share the workaday rice paddy and the social event of the hot bath and to promote a little action, Ball adds a madman on the mountain (his wife had been raped by a black GI) and a typhoon in which Marjorie demonstrates the ""utmost raw courage."" Much polite instruction--a little of it is interesting--two romances, all en route to one world.