Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Teaching English in Iwate in 1963

I'm collecting old newspaper clippings about Iwate on Iwate Buddy. So far I have 52 articles spanning the years from 1891 to the present! There is a handy-dandy index page with a list of all the titles, dates and keywords that is quite useful. Here is an excerpt from the latest addition.

Another Report on Japan from Teacher John Miles

Here is a second article by John Miles, member of the Pierce College English department who holds a Fulbright scholarship and is teaching in Japan. In this one he writes about the Japanese idea of humor, their women as compared to ours, the accommodations for Olympic Games visitors, and the cormorant fishing spectacle.


Remember the little cards of advice, THIMK and THINK AHEAd, or the lady who couldn't get all of HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the cake so she finished on Cupcakes? Nothing has fallen so flat in my Japanese class as these gags.

But a student's statement his English was so poor even the ash trays were laughing had 'cm rolling in the aisles. Sometimes I truly think that never the twain shall meet.

John Miles
[John Miles]

HANAMAKI TOWN — We’ve just returned to Tokyo, the world's most frantic city, from bitterly cold Hanamaki Town. This is up north near Morioka, capital of Iwate Prefecture, where they still affectionately remember Pierce College President John Shepard. He was in charge of occupational forces there after the war.

Sent by the Fulbright Commission, our job was to do what we could, in five days, for Japanese teachers of English, some of whom had never before seen or heard an American.

I don’t think we did anybody any good. We might have in five weeks or five months.
Between classes we three products of the city carried on a life-and-death struggle to be nearest the hibachi, while outside old men and women plowed their fields, and children played unmindful of the blizzard. Iwate Prefecture is known as the poorest in Japan. Maybe the rest of us could use a little of their "poverty."

Jump to the entire article here!


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