Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Book Review, Columns

Ash: A Novel

Holly Thompson, in her novel Ash, set in the Kyushu city of Kagoshima in 1985, traces the discoveries made by one such young American teacher in Japan. Caitlan, the protagonist, has an assignment in the similar but smaller scale program that preceded JET, the MEF, or Monbusho English Fellows. Although her teaching experience forms one strand of the story, readers gradually learn that what has really brought Caitlan to Japan is a quest to understand and come to terms with the death of a childhood...

Feature Article

Growing Up in Japan

Retrospection and introspection are terms suggested by a high school senior in this excerpt from his final exam in Japanese Literature. Although writing about two specific stories, Kawabata Yasunari’s “Umbrella” and Murakami Haruki’s “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One April Morning,” this student neatly defined a major challenge in teaching Japanese literature at the high school level. How do we interest students, who are accustomed to exciting plot and vivid characterization, in l...