By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

06 January 2008

Short Novel: 4 American Hostages, Introduction

After The Flight to Tokyo, I am presenting an interesting and shocking story to you, Americans.

The story is fiction but based on what is really happening in America now.

The facts came from two books written by 2 Japanese women. One is Ms. Yumi Kobayashi's and the other is Ms. Mika Tsutsumi's. Please read the related posts.

The story took place in Baghdad, Iraq. 4 Americans were captive by Iraqi insurgents somewhere in Baghdad. Each of them represents American society.

One of them was Loretta, 24. She was from the very rich family, Boltons. Going back for 4 generations from Loretta, George Bolton established the family's wealth by finding an oil mine in Texas, late 19th century. Starting with the oil business, they ran resort hotels, military equipment company, and broadcasting corporations. She lived in Beverly Hills with her parents. She became a celebrity woman after she made a debut in her family's TV show. She had been criticized that she was too much spotlighted using her family's name and power. So she wanted to prove herself how she was brave and independent. Then she went to Baghdad to be in a show to entertain the soldiers.

Next was Kevin, 27. He was born in the rich family, too but not as rich as Loretta's. His father was a lawyer and mother was a physician. He, himself made a fortune by computer software business. He studied business in Harvard. He, himself prided himself as self-made millionaire. He manages his own computer software company in Silicon Valley. He came to Baghdad to distribute and inspect his company's brand new software for the military in Baghdad. His company and Loretta's family company were doing business together for the military.  

Third was John, 19. He was born in Michigan from a father who had worked for the auto-maker and a mother who worked as a secretary in a small company. But when Kevin was 17 and in high school. His father was laid-off. His parents cannot provide tuition for the college. So he decided to join the army to go to the college.

Last guy was Fernando, 17. His family were actually illegal immigrants. Fernado and his parents and a sister crossed the border from Mexico to California when he was 11. His father worked in farms at lower wages than minimum wage set by law. But his father later died by the accident. His mother, sister and Fernando had no place to work and live. They became penniless and homeless. They lived in a homeless facility. Fernando decided to join the army in exchange for the U.S. citizenship.

John and Fernando were in the squad to guard Loretta and Kevin heading towards the military base. But the squad was attacked. Some of the military personnels were killed but they were luckily saved and captured by the Iraqi insurgents.

They were taken to the house and sit on the floor face to face.

The insurgents demanded them to speak on the videotape they shoot. Speak to their government to beg them to withdraw the troops from Iraq immediately. If not, they would be killed.

Go on to Chapter 1.

The stoy is copyrighted by this blog's manager, me, Masagata.  

06 October 2007

"The Great Gatsby" Poor Guy

That is what I felt.

I read the book and saw the movie which Robert Redford was in. I was never impressed by the story. Actually boring.

It is interesting to note the original novel was published in 1920's. It was Golden Age before Great Depression era.

Maybe the author wanted to criticize America's materialism.

Daisy Buchanan, whom Gatsby longed for years might symbolize that materialism.

But that materialism was after all, illusion. "American Dream" which you call.


Now in the U.S. more than 30 million people are in hunger and 45 million don't have medical insurance.  

Poor young people are being recruited by the military and sent to fight in Iraq. They do not have other jobs. After they come back home from the battlefield, they become homeless.

America is not rich country any more.

16:45 Posted in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: gatsby, literature

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

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