Essays on English in Japan

Sex and the City and English

I am sitting with my fourth year students at a British pub after our seminar. Some students are talking and laughing about something at the other end of the table, when I hear, “Sex and the city” in the middle of one of their sentences. “Are you talking about the TV show?” I ask. “Yes, they say, do you know that show?” they ask me in the same way young Japanese often believe McDonald’s is a Japanese company.


The Other Side of English

Everyone loves the word “creative” and most people cringe at the word “grammar.” So it always surprises me that in Japan the word “English” is most often attached to “grammar” but only rarely to “creative.” Look at the titles of books on the shelves and you’ll see the connection—grammar, grammar, grammar. A google search gets 5 million hits for “English grammar” but only 35 thousands hits for “creative English.” I’m sure in Japanese the disparity is even greater! Something is terribly wrong.

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「Essays on English in Japan」へ、ようこそ。名前のとおり、英語のエッセーについて日本で語ろうという場所です。このサイトは僕の著書『僕、ニッポンの味方です アメリカ人大学教授が見た「日本人の英語」』をきっかけに誕生しました。まだ始まったばかりですが、新しいエッセーを随時更新します。今のところ、掲載されているエッセーの大半は『僕、ニッポンの味方です』に収録されている日本語のエッセーの英文ですが、あらゆる話題の新しいエッセーを紹介していくのでお見逃しなく。あなたのお気に入りのサイトになりますように。読むことと考えることを楽しみましょう!


Welcome to this site!

Welcome to Essays on English in Japan. This site is just what it says: essays about English in Japan. This website goes together with my book, 僕は、ニッポンの味方です! An Anti-Grammar Manifesto—The Other Side of English, released by Media Factory Publishers in March 2009. Though this website is just starting, it will have new essays all the time. For now, most of the essays are English versions of the Japanese essays in that book, but keep checking back to find new essays on all kinds of topics. Hope you like it! Happy reading and thinking!
March 20, 2009

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About The Author

Michael is currently teaching at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, in the American Literature section of the English Department. More information in the About Me page.