It's also an interesting exercise in cultural expectations; even now, with our small world, there are still very different expectations with, say, setting up a business or even just conducting business or going to work (or even living) in Japan or China (or many other countries) and that of the same in a "Western" country. Even then, doing business in America is, it seems, quite different from doing it in Australia or the UK or Continental Europe.
Just goes to show that even though we feel we get closer as an international society, many things highly resist change or adapt in quite different ways.
Justin (justin.tv) mentioned Shogun in his Inc.com interview.
As liedra noted, he is the inspiration for the main character in Shogun. When I was about 9 years old, I first came across Shogun (the book) at my public library. It enchanted me and I've read it many times since then.
It was my first experience with anything related to Japan and it completely fascinated me. I tried to learn Japanese on my own as a kid and finally learned it for real in college. Through my wife, kids and career, it's fair to say that almost half of my life has been a Japanese experience.