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30 September 2007

Dear Britons: "A Little Princess, Sara Crewe"

Following "Dear Canadians" Series, this post is for other English speaking people than Americans. This time is for Britons. Actually the home country for English language. But the fact of the matter is English used worldwide is American. I've heard from one British guy, American English is Shakespear's era's. British English is in fact more advanced.


Anyway, the topic of the post is my favorite British book, "A Little Princess." It was written by Francis Hodgson Burnett. The story took place in 19th century London. A rich man's daughter named Sara Crewe entered Girls' Dormitory school. She had received special treatment by the school. But when the news that her father died and lost all of his fortune came, her life drastically changed.


The interesting point is Sara was a very unrealistic character, how could a girl raised in such a wealthy environment be so nice to anybody? That should not happen in real life. The point is people around her were very realistic. Miss Minchin, a principal of the school who treated her like a slave after the death of her father was very realistic character that you can find anywhere in the world such as your boss in your company.


People are greedy. That is the very lesson I learned from this book when I first read in my childhood. In other words, you can't be arrogant even when you are very rich and powerful. Your life can be easily changed by the current.


The book also gave me a negative image of British people like cold-blooded, and feudal minded. Maybe that is not true any more. The story is 19th century.


The story is very popular in Japan among children since it was made into cartoon programs. Visit and see the show if you are interested.

19:35 Posted in Books, Britain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: literature, Class gap

11 September 2007

6 Years Ago

6 years ago, September 11, 2001, I was watching evening news on TV. Breaking news came up, I saw the scene that one of World Trade Center towers was burning. First, I thought it was a terrible accident. I thought the building would survive. Actually, I hoped so, because I've been there. The other tower was hit, and I realized it was never an accident.

After an hour, both buildings collapesed and then another news came, Pentagon was hit.

I could not believe what happened. After this incident, that week's news reports were all about the terror incident.

After that, the U.S.A attacked Afghan, and then Iraq. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians were killed and Binladen was never captured. Hussein was hanged to death but he had no link with Al Quaida. No weapons of mass-destruction was found.  

Some say "911 happened because it should have happened."

One recent Dutch movie "Black Book" that depicted Nazis occupied Holland had an interesting scene. One German officer made a speech and said "Let's strike down terror resistance and get back free Europe." This scene overlaps the speeches made by the U.S. officials.

Who are the real terrorists?

What caused terrorism? What kind of situation are we in now?

Since 911, I began to think about what to do to change things better. That is why I became so interested in history. 

I think 911 made documentary films like Micheal Moore's become so popular. There are a lot of problems on earth. Reality is much more thrilling and cruel than fictions. We all have to think about that and seek the solutions for those problems.

06 September 2007

Dear Canadians: "Anne of Green Gables"

The purpose of this blog is to send messages to American readers. But since this is written in English. I believe other English speaking people should be reading. So I decided to post messages to them from time to time.


Today, I write an article for Canadians. The topic is "Anne of Green Gables." The book was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908.


When we hear Canada, the first thing to come up with is this story. Many people in Japan know that. The story is introduced in Japanese school textbooks. It became popular cartoon program. You can see the program by clicking on this site. My family watched that show.


The story took place on Prince Edward Island in the end of 19th century. An orphan girl named Anne, came to the island. She was wainting for a farmer named Mathew Cuthbert. Mathew and his sister, Marilla was planning to adopt an orphan boy who could help their work in the farm. At first, they were upset with Anne's arrival but later they came to like her and decided to adopt her. Anne was talkative and imaginative girl. She met wonderful people and had wonderful experiences on the island.


In Japan, translated version was first introduced in 1950's. The title in Japan is "Akage-no-Anne (Anne of Red Hair)." If you have read this book, you know how "Red Hair" is important words in this story.

 The most impressive words I read in the book was "Without my imagination, I could never go through such hardships in my life." I really think imagination is very important in our life.

Kind of girlie version of "The adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, the story was in fact reflected by the author's childhood memories on the island.


One Canadian guy I know told me Prince Edward Island, which they call PEI is boring place. He said the island wastes tax by getting provincial status. But this place is very famous for the place of this story among Japanese people. A lot of Japanese tourists visit there. Anne contributed to Canada's tourism industry.  


Surprisingly, Canada's closest neighbor, Americans don't know this book. Even a teacher of English literature in college.

Americans should know such a wonderful story exists in their closest neighboring country.  


21:15 Posted in Books, Canada | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: literature