My buddy Mickey Acorn has just published an ESL textbook here in Japan and I couldn’t be happier for him.Â Aside from being an English teacher, a fiction writer, and a fellow Japan-lover, he’s also a great songwriter and does a bang-up rendition of Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl.’Â I was psyched to hear about his book and thought it would be cool to interview him about publishing in Japan.
Greg: First of all, Mickey, please introduce yourself and tell us how long you’ve been in Japan.
Mickey: I’m Mickey Acorn, I’m from Prince Edward Island in Canada (known for the story “Anne of Green Gables” –> èµ¤æ¯›ã®ã‚¢ãƒ³). I came to Japan for one year on a Working Holiday visa and decided to stay once I realized how amazing the quality of life was in Japan. I’ve been here for just over three and a half years and I don’t intend to leave anytime soon.
Greg: What’s the book all about? What makes it unique?
Mickey: The book is special. Most textbooks like it have used previously published materials to test the reading comprehension of Japanese students. The content is usually pretty boring. Topics such as Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and cultural differences between the West and Japan are very popular.
Yasukochi Tetsuya wanted to created a textbook used for the same reason, but with original content that was both fresh and interesting to the reader. After reading a story I wrote he became very excited to use it as a way to help people not only improve their reading skills but also let them enjoy English. The book is my short story translated and annotated.