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.
Feiler's account offers an instructive, amusing inside look at a vaunted educational system. Invited by the Japanese Ministry of Education to teach English in a junior high school, Feiler arrived, shortly after graduation from Yale, in rural Sano, 50 miles north of Tokyo, where he was the first foreigner seen by many of the city's inhabitants. Among the cultural shocks he describes is his welcome with a ritual collective outdoor bath. Noting that characteristics such as group loyalty and community responsibility are fostered in a system that requires students to clean their schools and neighborhoods, Feiler lists aspects of the Japanese system that might successfully be translated to American schools, while acknowledging such negatives as the lack of free choice and individual expression. BOMC selection.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 11, 2004
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