Essays on English in Japan

Creative 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 got 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.


Liberating English

I ran into one of my students on the train one day, going the same direction. She had taken a short story and film class several years before and was a very good student. She told me about her job and ‘shakaijin’ life, and she asked me to recommend my favorite recent movies. She said she still really loved movies, but that taking my class had gotten her in trouble with her family.

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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.