Essays on English in Japan

Bye-bye mono, hello bilingual!

I was relaxing in the jacuzzi of my swimming pool one day after a swim, when a young guy next to me said: “Where are you from?” in perfect English. “America,” I said, “And you?” We had a great conversation. It turns out he had gone to North Carolina to be a sushi chef, living there for four years before returning to Tokyo and opening his own izakaya. He told me his story, about living in the U.S. and returning to build his dream. He invited me to his izakaya, which specializes in different kinds of fish and special brands of “nihonshu.”


The Art of Conversation

To truly learn a language does not mean learning just the rules and sentence parts, but getting a feeling for beauty and meaning. Language is a vast sea of cultural ideas, creative expressions, and complex meanings. To handle these intricate and powerful ideas, and to get to the beautiful, meaningful nature of language, what's most needed is art, not structure. Learning a language is really learning the art of conversation.

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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.