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Dear Diary Boy: An Exacting Mother, Her Free-spirited Son, and Their Bittersweet Adventures in an Elite Japanese School Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Kumiko Makihara’ s work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times Magazine, and Newsweek, as well as in the books Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works and Tsunami: Japan’ s Post Fukushima Future. She previously was a reporter for Time Magazine and the Associated Press and a features editor at the Moscow Times. She resides in New York City and Tokyo.
Deborah Fallows is the author of several books, including Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language, and most recently Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America.
- ASIN : B077S5R3KD
- Publisher : Arcade (17 July 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 1648 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 208 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 178,342 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Somehow I erred in my understanding of what the book would be about. For some reason, I thought the book was letters that the author and her son had exchanged back and forth while he was living at school.
I was wrong. The son lives at home for almost all of the duration of the book. His notes are entries made in a diary that his school required him to write in daily for years. The author puts a bit from his diary and then tells us how things were when the diary entry was written.
Keep an open mind. Japanese culture is different from our own. I saw serious problems with some of THE SCHOOL’s policies, but I also saw a lot of good. Children who are responsible, capable, and academically strong.
I think it’s difficult in Japan or even here to raise kids who can set a table or cook a meal unless one parent (either sex) is not working. Otherwise, it’s just impossible. If you get home at 5:30 pm and your child has homework, you will push for the homework to be done. If the child is resistant or having trouble, it could be 8 pm now and you’ve not fed the child nor has the child had a bath. Forget it. You’re maybe going to do the mad dash to get the child to sleep so you have one small moment of peace. Yes, I do think being able to fold a shirt matters.
Meanwhile, American schools are wanting to get rid of the different academic tracks because that is the fad right now... insisting everyone is the same. We are all equal but not the same. Over here some teachers are teaching core curriculum and basically sitting back while children flounder and fail to learn.
I saw failures in both systems in the book. I agree with the author that a middle ground would be good. If kids get a trophy for doing nothing, they begin to expect trophies for nothing for their entire lives... plus they don’t have any experiences that have helped them build up resilience. Having said that, the mother’s desperation was hard to read about sometimes. She was pushed to go too far sometimes.
I appreciate the writer’s honesty which couldn’t have been easy... She lays her life in Japan bare for all to see.
It’s a read that will push you into uncomfortable areas as you’re forced to confront vastly different ways of doing things.
Excellent and heartbreaking read
She tell us about her frustration between the School and her son that suffered from attention deficit syndrome. In Japan, they don't be believe that this condition exists. She had to take her son to New York to be evaluated by a doctor there and she had a very hard time finding a psychiatrist that agreed with the New York diagnostic.
She finally decided to move to the States and put her son in a boarding school, where his needs were treated. He was medicated and the work load much less. The reason why she decided to send him to a boarding school was that she expected that her job was going to require a lot of traveling and his education was not going to be affected.
Something that I should have mention first is that Taro's family was very uncommon in Japan: his mother is japanese, his father is American and they are divorced, but Taro is adopted in Kokshetao. A very non-japanese family structure.
So, get a copy of this book and when you think that your kid's school expects to much from your child; just read the book.☺