Essays on English in Japan

About Me

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You can find more about me inside each of the essays, as all of them, except for the guest and student essays, are written in first person from my point of view. People like other details, though, too, I guess, so here are a few.

As for my job, I am currently teaching at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, in the American Literature section of the English Department. I teach all in English and count myself luck to have great students and a great place to work. I teach classes on American short stories, modern novels, comedy films, documentaries and American music and art. I love all those topics deeply, and maybe one day I’ll make a book and website on those areas, too, but first I thought I would write about English in Japan.

As a teacher, I have taught not only in Japan, but also in China and the United States, at various universities for over 25 years. When I was young, I always taught math, composition and other subjects as a private tutor, and swimming and lifesaving in the summers. They seemed easy and interesting, and much better than most other part-time jobs. I guess teaching has always been part of my life. Maybe it’s genetic, my sister, both of my parents from time to time, one grandfather, one grandmother and a great-aunt were all teachers, too. I escaped my country, but not the profession, I guess.

As a student, I really loved majoring in philosophy. I guess as an undergraduate was when I became addicted to ideas. There are not many jobs for philosophers, though, so later, I got more practical graduate degrees: an M.A. in Education, an M.A. in Comparative Literature, and an M. Phil. in English. I finally got past those letters of the alphabet and finished my Ph.D. on the adaptations of novels to films. I guess I’m a slow learner, but that’s OK. I still study several languages, too: French, Chinese and Japanese. I love all three of these languages, though I am not as good at them as I would like. Studying them has changed my view of the world profoundly.

As a writer, I write academic papers on literature and film. I published a couple textbooks: 一流の朗読で聴く名文-「智」を求める and 一流の朗読で聴く名文-「型」を学ぶ with my friend and colleague, Tetsuro Fujii. I also published a collection of essays on Tokyo, also with Media Factory, called 僕、トーキョーの味方。The title is obviously similar to the collection of essays that forms the basis of the this website, 僕は、ニッポンの味方です。It’s easy to find all those. I write about jazz, too, and have my own website: So, if you like jazz, check it out. I write for an Italian jazz magazine, JazzColours, too, and continue to write essays about Tokyo for Newsweek Japan.

Is that enough details about me? I hope so. Now, please, please, please return to the essays, which are a lot more interesting!


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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.