The Housekeeper and the Professor

Author: Yoko Ogawa

Language: English

Summary: He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem―ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory.
She is an astute young Housekeeper―with a ten-year-old son―who is hired to care for the Professor.
And every morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to each other anew, a strange and beautiful relationship blossoms between them. Though he cannot hold memories for long (his brain is like a tape that begins to erase itself every eighty minutes), the Professor’s mind is still alive with elegant equations from the past. And the numbers, in all of their articulate order, reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her young son. The Professor is capable of discovering connections between the simplest of quantities―like the Housekeeper’s shoe size―and the universe at large, drawing their lives ever closer and more profoundly together, even as his memory slips away.
Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor is an enchanting story about what it means to live in the present, and about the curious equations that can create a family. Source:

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Author: Min Jin Lee Language: English Summary: NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST  * FINALIST FOR THE 2018 DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE In this gorgeous, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew. “There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because … Continue reading Pachinko

Kafka on the Shore

Author: Haruki Murakami

Language: English

Summary: Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder, in what is a truly remarkable journey. Source:

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Japan Guide…less: Emails from Japan

Author: Nicole D’Arcangelo

Language: English

Summary: Back in 2004, I embarked on a journey to Japan to teach English as a Second Language; a job I had never done before. I was totally qualified though because I spoke English. I had wanted to travel more, but not being able to afford it, I had the brilliant idea to move abroad. Kill two birds with one stone – travel and get paid to do it. I knew little about the food, less about the culture, none of the language, and was hired for a job I had never done before. Eh, details.
Follow me as I fumble through the country, living and working, and discovering about the food, culture, and language I once knew nearly nothing about. I’ll give you all the juicy stuff traditional guide books leave out, like what pastries to steer clear of and how to keep your cool while trying to flush a Japanese toilet. However, if you just enjoy a good laugh at someone else’s expense, that’s fine too. Source:

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Leaving to teach English in Japan: a brief look at experiences and humor found in moving to a very different culture

Author: William Jermyn

Language: English

Summary: From the author: “I am a former teacher and salesman. I taught in the public schools in Tulsa, OK and Hernando County FL. I specialized in grades 6-8. I took a 3 year break from teaching in the US and went to Japan to teach English. While there my students ranged in age from 3 to 83. It was quite an experience, and one that has helped shape my life.

I have left teaching an am now working in Real Estate while trying to move into my truer love, writing.
My first book was a description of my preparation for and trip to Japan. I made mistakes that are funny now looking back. Let me tell you that you do NOT want to arrive at Narita Airport in Tokyo with 2 duffel bags (each about 80#) and a carry on. They think something is unusual, and that can lead to consequences.

I try to write every day. Some days are better than others, but writing is always worthwhile.
Take a bit and read. We will know each other better.

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The Makioka Sisters

Author: Junichiro Tanizaki

Language: English

Summary: Tanizaki’s masterpiece is the story of four sisters, and the declining fortunes of a traditional Japanese family. It is a loving and nostalgic recreation of the sumptuous, intricate upper-class life of Osaka immediately before World War Two. With surgical precision, Tanizaki lays bare the sinews of pride, and brings a vanished era to vibrant life. Source:

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