Javizy wrote:That was my first impression, but then I doubt John Grisham has much experience with the CIA, FBI, Ku Klux Klan, offshore banking, federal prisons, and a host of other topics he writes about believably and compellingly.
John Grisham was a politician and lawyer who writes almost exclusively about the law and politics.
But, you can write things you don't have personal experience with. I mean, otherwise all fantasy and science fiction would be rubbish. But you still need to know
about the subjects, preferably on a pretty intimate level. And it helps if there's a purpose in your setting. For example, the (traditional) point of science fiction was to ask a question and try to give an answer. More usually, the point is to explore things like the intense loneliness of space (as a mirror for the intense loneliness of earth - and it helps if you've actually experience loneliness yourself), or to explore humanity through the lense of other species, or etc. High fantasy is usually an excuse to explore the bounds of comraderie and heroism, and what that might mean for us here and now. Well, when it's not outright escapism. At any rate, the concept
you're exploring should be something you've experienced personally, and the setting should be something you know and know well
The problem here, though, is that Japan is a real place, and that when you set something there, there's an expectation that, beyond the expectation of you being accurate, that there be a purpose
behind the choice. What about living on an island in Japan lets you share something worthwhile that you couldn't share by setting your story in your own surroundings? There are plenty things that could best, or only, be explored through such a setting. But are any of those things yours?
These are, I think, important questions that writers have to ask themselves. But I'm not really trying to say you can't set your story in Japan, and genuinely not trying to discourage you. I think too few people write, so I'd hate for you to be one less. They're just things to think about.