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Learning to Bow: An American Teacher in a Japanese School
 
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Learning to Bow: An American Teacher in a Japanese School [Format Kindle]

Bruce Feiler

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“A refreshingly original look at Japan…this book is a revelation.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“A hilarious and revealing book [that] marks the debut of a formidable talent.” (James Fallows, Washington Editor of Atlantic Monthly)

“Always fascinating and often funny…one of those rare books that shows the Japanese as fully rounded human beings.” (Washington Post)

“Mark Salzman fans and other aficionados of things Eastern will love…Bruce Feiler’s Learning to Bow.” (Elle)

“Gems of insight and understanding.” (Rocky Mountain News)

“An engaging book, Learning to Bow earns higher marks than the usual scholarly analysis.” (Business Tokyo)

“Filled with rich anecdotes that tell far more than dry, academic tomes on the same subject.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

“A charming and incisive close-up of the most important part of the Japanese miracle- the making of a Japanese.” (Robert Elegant, author of Pacific Destiny)

“As fascinating an account of Japanese life as you could find anywhere…Don’t miss this one.” (Grand Rapids Press)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Learning to Bow has been heralded as one of the funniest, liveliest, and most insightful books ever written about the clash of cultures between America and Japan. With warmth and candor, Bruce Feiler recounts the year he spent as a teacher in a small rural town. Beginning with a ritual outdoor bath and culminating in an all-night trek to the top of Mt. Fuji, Feiler teaches his students about American culture, while they teach him everything from how to properly address an envelope to how to date a Japanese girl.


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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  64 commentaires
47 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A glimpse into Japan of the late 1980's 16 janvier 2002
Par Zack Davisson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The primary strength of this book is the writing style. Unlike many books about Japanese culture, this book is funny and "living." The book contains a series of anecdotes, each one focusing on a particular experience that Bruce S. Feiler had during his stay. The stories are written as first-person memoirs, and cover such broad topics as Hiroshima and Nagasaki to how to date a Japanese girl. The writing is clever and engaging.
The only thing I felt this book was lacking was an update of some sort. Written about 11 years ago, "Learning to Bow" is about Japan during the "bubble economy." Japan has gone through severe economic and societal changes since then, and I wonder how much of the information is still current. Surely, with the JET program in full swing for several decades now, the presence of foreigners is not such a surprise anymore. Also, the place of women has gone through some significant changes since this book was written.
Still, anyone planning a long-term stay in Japan should read this book. It is fun, insightful and has great tips for climbing Mt. Fuji.
41 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is how it really is 22 janvier 2001
Par James R. Hoadley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Bruce Feiler was one of the first participants on the JET program, a program sponsored by the Japanese government to bring foreign young people to Japan for the purposes of education and "internationalization." While Feiler's experiences are a little unusual, in that he can already speak Japanese when he arrives and the events at his school are rather dramatic, overall his story reflects the life of a typical JET program participant. The culture shock, the unbending bureaucracy, the complex and often disaffected attitudes of students, the instant celebrity and lack of privacy that goes with it, are all symptoms that JETs experience. I read the book and often found myself nodding in agreement, having experience the same events and feelings myself. If you want to have an intimate look at the world of education in Japan today, Feiler's book is an excellent place to start. If you are thinking about joining the JET program, this book is a must, along with Importing Diversity.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting read, but dated and exaggerated. 25 avril 2006
Par MMac - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
As one who logged a few years teaching in Japan around the same era, the subject matter certainly interests me, and this is an interesting study of Japanese culture and the experience of AETs as existed in the late 1980s.

However, the book is a bit dated and I don't know how accurate of a portrayal it'd be for those interested in the Japan teaching experience of today. During the author's experience, the JET program was in its early years and gaijin in the classrooms was still a novelty. In the last 20 years or so, however, an entire generation has grown up accustomed to native english teachers and encounters with foreigners no longer prompt the level of surprise, ignorance, and curiosity portrayed by this author. Also, this book was written at the apex of Japan's bubble economy, and SO many of the attitudes, beliefs and opinions expressed in the book about Japan and its future are the product of that era, circumstances that have obviously changed dramatically in the years since the bubble burst.

Also found parts to be exaggerated. As one example, the author repeatedly informs us of what a rural backwards hamlet he was assigned to, I believe at one point even alleging that most people in his town had never seen a foreigner before him. I found these descriptions dubious: in reality Tochigi contains about 2 million people, is located in the most populous region of Japan on the outskirts of the Kanto plain right next to Tokyo, and contains sites like Nikko that attract thousands of foreign tourists every year. It is hardly the inaka backwoods outpost depicted in this book.

Also found it a bit odd the way the author seemed intent on avoiding mentioning that he was actually just a teacher in the JET Programme, which is well-known and imports thousands of new young english teachers every year to serve in public schools throughout Japan. Instead, he described his job in vaguely pretentious terms along the lines of "I was selected by Japan's Ministry of Education", as if to imply that he alone was some sort of specially selected ambassador.

Nonetheles, despite having aired these pet peeves, I must admit that I still enjoyed the read because it brought me back to an earlier much enjoyed time in my life. I'd recommend the read to Japan "has beens" like myself, but not necessarily to those seeking an accurate portrayal of today's Japan teaching experience.
69 internautes sur 87 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 A Bag of Wind 14 juillet 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
If I hadnt actually lived in Japan i could see how i could mistake this thing for authoritive, but it amazes me that anyone who has lived out here more than a year could see this as much more than the bag of wind it is. With its pretentious title and lofty quotations of translated haikus, Feiler proves he knows how to make a good impression. The problem is, if you actually read it, you realize he isnt much good at doing anything else.
At the time of writing this book, Feiler had been living out here a year as JET highschool teacher (though he doesnt actually admit to that in so many words- to hear him tell it, he was here on "special invite from the japanese goverment", as if he was some kind of high-ranking diplomat). The title ("Inside the heart of Japan") and chapter headings ("Drinking alone in rural Japan", for example), suggest that by reading it you'll gain powerful, poetic realities about this mysterious country. But every chapter left me unsastisfied. He has a habit of starting chapters with an overwritten account of the kind of thing everyone does within a week of being here, and then, when its time to actually say anything, starts quoting press articles off the english language news services wire. If you comb the book carefully to seperate these rote repetitions of facts already freely available from what he actually writes himself, you'll be left with a very slim and trite account of japan indeed.
Its a good thing for the author there are so few books of this type about Japan out there, because if people had more to compare it with they'd realize how bad it is. Anyone who came out here to teach english for a year and scanned the internet for newspaper articles to quote from for padding could have written this book.
32 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Sarcasm and fabrications 28 mai 2003
Par George Shiratake - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I was very disappointed in this book. I have lived in Japan for 6 years (and still do), married and taught on the JET Programme. As a former JET I was disheartened as this book does not paint an accurate picture of life in Japan as a JET. Granted people's experiences differ from prefecture to prefecture and from school to school, but Learning to Bow's anecdotes and observations about Japan are far too extreme and at times border on lies. Also the frequent use of sarcasm and satire is not in anyway humorous and portrays the author as "god's gift to English teaching". For anyone curious about life on the JET Programme, teaching English in Japan or life in Japan in general, I do not recommend this book.
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