Philip Larkin was Big in Japan, in academic literary circles that is, and probably still has his scholars. Given his narrowly English presentation, that might be surprising, even if we allow for the view that Larkin was taken as a representative of a particular strand of English cultural development, in other words that he was valuable evidence. That is certainly true, but the interest amongst those professorial readers went well beyond mere intercultural research. The explanation is straightforward: Larkin writes about the doubts and frustrations of a highly educated, very busy but under-employed salaryman. Could he be more Japanese?