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Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan…
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Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan (1991)

by Bruce Feiler

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3791128,296 (3.83)26
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  1. 00
    Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China by Rachel DeWoskin (Literate.Ninja)
    Literate.Ninja: Both works are clever and friendly autobiographical accounts of westerners trying to live and work in Asia.
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    Thank You and Okay: An American Zen Failure in Japan by David Chadwick (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Another memoir of an American in Japan. This one is a zen student and English tutor.
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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
American teaching in Japan. Fascinating. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This book was a gift from David and Lynda Sullivan. This was the third book I've read by Mr. Feiler, all of them were good reads. This one is an account of a year he spent in Japan teaching English. ( )
  MrDickie | Feb 28, 2013 |
This book was assigned reading for one of my college courses, and I read the whole thing in a single afternoon. The author wrote in an engaging and friendly style, and his experiences were quite entertaining. When the class was over, I just couldn't sell this one back to the campus bookstore, and it still sits on my shelf today. ( )
  Literate.Ninja | Jul 12, 2012 |
I thought this was a good book about an American's view of student life and compulsory education in early 2000 Japan. The author shares his successes and social errors from his one year teaching English in Japan.

I would like to visit Japan and little things like being constantly asked, "Can you use chopsticks? Can you eat sushi?" strike me as right on in the innocence of a host country small town understanding of outsiders. Having lived two years in small towns in Puerto Rico taught much about having patience if one wants to truly understand a culture.

Unlike other reviews on Amazon, I found the quotes and haikus that introduce the chapters to be charming and to help set the mood of the material. ( )
  amorlibrorum | Dec 11, 2010 |
Bruce Feiler takes us on an insightful and often humourous look at what it's like to teach English in a Japaese junion high school. He combines classic cultural research with his own personal experiences, giving the reader a good look inside a world that so many people both love and often misunderstand.

It isn't just the Japanese school system that Feiler lets the reader explore in Learning to Bow. All aspects of Japanese culture are up for grabs, from dating to the proper way to eat lunch to fashion. He often makes comparisons between Japanese and American methods, drawing his own conclusions but still giving us a chance to form our own without his bias. While he may disagree with the benefits of some parts of Japanese culture, he doesn't say, for example, that those aspects are bad. Merely that he disagrees.

I've read this book twice before, and still love it now as much as I did when I first opened the cover to page 1. Though Feiler's experiences recounted in the book take place in the late 80's, the words and story themselves have such a timeless feel that they could have been written yesterday.

Most certainly, I'd recommend this book for anyone who's seriously interested in teaching in Japan (through the JET program, perhaps), or for those who are interested in another look into Japan's fascinating culture. ( )
  Bibliotropic | Aug 30, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Oshieru wa manabu no nakaba nari.
Half of teaching is learning.
-- A Japanese proverb
Dedication
For my parents Jane and Ed Feiler, above and beyond the commas
First words
I dropped my pants and felt a rush of cool wind against my legs.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060577207, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:31 -0400)

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