chapter  4
A Diplomat in Japan An Introduction
Pages 6

THE COMPELLING INTEREST of all memoirs lies in their humanity. Each is an essentially personal account of events which, though subjective, may draw one closer to the complexities of reality. Often they have the virtues of fresh colour, sharp emotion, and language free from official monochrome, but they are invariably scarred by all too human flaws; there are the mistakes and omissions of erring memories, self-inflation induced by vanity, and self-justification provoked by controversy, but above all there is the factor of hindsight which frequently distorts the selection and presentation of an author’s recollections.