I checked Amazon's Top Selling books page today. Well, I am a little bit disappointed to see that in Japan most of them are manga. In the UK, I could see how British people love Harry Potter and fantasy novels. And in the U.S people like to control things: money, success, work, weight, their life by positive thinking, religion, healing :-) Actually, those types of books, like new age, healing and rules for achieving success, are popular in Japan too. "The science of getting rich" by Wallace D. Wattles was ranked a top seller in Japan.
Speaking of new age, it was a big fad in the 90s and "Bashar" is still popular in Japan. "I had it all the time" by Alan Cohen was a well known positive thinking book, and Yoko Ono endorsed a book called "Your life can be full of good things" by Mayumi Harada. As for rules for success books Napoleon Hill is famous, of course, and "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen made pretty good sales. In the last few years the Japanese book "Lessons from a Jewish multimillionaire" by Ken Honda was big in Japan. He wrote some wisdom about money and how he was taught by wealthy Jewish men in the U.S.
Me?? I am a curious person. I love surprise, mystery, wondering at the world. If it seems to be interesting, I will read it, I will try anything. You know, things beyond all imagination could happen at any time, like this (Ghost!!) and this (Horn on head!!). I am open to those types of books too.
Then I found an interesting page today. The word "Arigato"= Thank you has power (JP). Actually we used the word "Kotodama" originally. It is a Shinto idea that each word has spiritual power. The page said that when you say Arigato 50,000 times, you will cry automatically full of a grateful feeling, and that some small happiness would happen to you. If you say Arigato 100,000 times, some better thing would happen. So, more Arigato will bring you more happiness. Look at this page, this page talks about the effect of Arigato too and they did an experiment. Three bottles of rice were filled up [is a bottle of rice a specific thing? or were three bottles just filled with rice?]. One bottle had a "baka" = A-hole, one bottle had no label, and one was labeled "Arigato". Then one year later, the Arigato bottle looked completely different from the others.
I tried to find the same idea (that a word has power or that saying Thank You can bring happiness to you) on Google, but I couldn't find any foreign sites. (Do you know of any?) So, foreign people, does this make any sense? Will you tell me to stop kidding around? I am very curious if it will happen or not [if what will happen or not?]. What do you think?