1.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.13-24,  2021-03-30.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: Thisis a summaryguide to 51 books of Richmond Robin Readers, which seemto be targeted at teenage learners of English, judging from the ages of the protagonists: 12 or 13 to 19years old in accordancewith the levels from 1 (300 headwords) to 6 (1800 headwords). The characteristics of this series are asfollows:1) Afifth of the storiesare set in Australiawhose indigenousanimals such as crocodiles and kangaroos are effectively used in Jane Bowring's Cousins and CrocodilesandJames Roy's Broken Wing. 2)Half of the books are about the teen protagonistsfighting against adult criminals, mainly robbers. Althoughsomeof themare quite humorouslikeDeniseKirby's Black Night, othersare unexpectedly seriouslikePauline O'Carolan'sRide for Your LifeandDeadly Holiday. A unique writer, Ms. O'Carolanprefers describingevil doings of abnormal peoplelikean arsonist, a stalker and even a serial killer. 3) Many of the stories are based on the protagonists' newly foundleisure activities such as skiing, scuba diving, horse riding, orienteering,ballooning,yachting, and rafting, out of which powerful stories like Ms. Kirby's Hot Airand Sue Murray's Wild Waterwere born.Since those recreational experiences are not so hard to be accessible to teenagers, they willprobably enjoyreading such rather approachableadventures.Otherrecommended books you cannot miss in this series are Sue Murray's CHOIR Boy(a good-looking boy robot causesa lot of trouble at school), Sam Bowring's InSarah's Dreams(a girl fights back the bully in her dreams), Philip Voysey's The RainbowGirl(anoutcast, hunchback girl kills a monster for hervillage), and DeniseKirby'sWhat Happened at Seacliffe(through the visit to her rich cousinsin England,an Australian female studentgets to know that herancestor was robbed of his inheritanceand forciblysent to the faraway land as a criminal most probably by his own brother). 続きを見る
2.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.25-36,  2021-03-30. 
概要: For the sake of the Japanese learners of English who love reading, thispaperintroduces three different seriesof readers: Garnet Oracle Readers, Summertown Readers, and National Geographic's Global Issues. Garnet Oracle and Summertown are both so-called graded readers. The former arefor highschool and university students who studyEnglish as a foreign or second languagewhile the latter arewritten for businesspeople who have to learn Englishas a lingua franca. Both are,however, original fictionalstories, some of which are quite enjoyable and really worth reading. Peter Viney,Garnet's main author,can write a variety of genres: for example, Space Romanceis aromantic sci-fi story in an impressivesetting; A Tidy Ghostis a witty ghost story whose terror dramatically changes into sheerhumor at the ending; but,above all,his Undergroundis highly recommended because of the unforgettable character Tommy, amute elderly man who lives in the Londonunderground, saving theprotagonist in big trouble.Summertown's counterpart must be James Schofield. Although his amateurish suspense stories tend to be rather boring, his humorous stories such as Room Serviceand Double Troubleare readable with a lot oflaughter. National Geographic's Global Issuesmayseem to be nocomparison with these interesting stories since they are serious nonfiction pamphlets editedfor American high school students. Despite the foreign language, Japanesestudents can also appreciate the discussed, grave environmental problemsofourplanetEarth where the population explosion has been causing disastroussituations. In a sense, fact is truly stranger than fiction. So, which is more interesting, fiction or nonfiction?Ihope you readthe three seriesand decide for yourself. 続きを見る
3.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.37-48,  2021-03-30.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: Sidney Sheldon(1917-2007),a legendarybest-selling American novelistof romantic suspense, was also very popular inJapan. According to the top ten listsincluding Japanese authors, his nameappeared for 7 consecutive years from 1988to 1994. This unbreakable record is generally assumedby Japanese critics,who areapparently unfamiliarwith hiswork,to bethanks to the unique translational methodcalled "cho-yaku" (literally, super-translation)invented by TatsuyukiTENMA(pen name of KunioMASHIKO),a kind of techniqueenabling anAmerican novelto look like one originally writtenin Japanese. Mr.Tenma, as the presidentof the publishing house Academy Shuppan, seems to have builta close relationship with SidneySheldon, getting his trust and permission to translatenot only mostof Sheldon'swell-known 18 novelsbut also rare ones unpublishedin the United States such as Man on the Run, The Dictator, and The Revenge. The Chase(1984), in whichMasao, the 18-year-old Japanese heir to aSony-likeinternational company,surviveswith asamurai spirithis uncle's devilish plot in the US,remainsan unforgettablepresent to Japan from SidneySheldonbecause it was kindly and earnestly written for Japanese learners of English, responding to Mr.Tenma's unusual request. Probablycho-yakuhelped Sheldon'sbooks sell as well as in his home country, but itwas undoubtedlySheldon's genius instorytelling that kepthis Japanese fans absorbed in turning the page. 続きを見る
4.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.29-40,  2020-03-31.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This paper is a guide to 50 books of Page Turners Reading Library published by Heinle, Cengage Learning, which area 12- level graded reading series of original stories from level 1(200 headwords) to level 12 (2600 headwords). Considering that other ordinary graded readers are divided into 6 levels, the 12 levels seem too minute to be useful. The concept of Page Turners, however, is quite successful in forcing the reader to turn pages with growing interest. Every Page Turners book is enjoyable just because it compels the reader to want to know what is going on, or what will happen next, which sometimes turns out to be not so interesting after all, though. In addition to how to read English, the reader can learn how to write fiction,especially, various techniques of arousing the reader’s curiosity and keeping his/her attention. The books from level 1 to level 4, set in a fictional Brenton College in the Unites States, are seemingly created as a companion series to Foundations Reading Library in which Bayview High School students' daily lives and extraordinary adventures are vividly described. Since the new heroes and heroines are older than the former counterparts, the stories are much more serious and far more complicated with adult conflicts. As a result, the protagonists can no longer stay around school; naturally the books from level 5 on to the end have nothing to do with Brenton College. Now the setting limitation is gone, stories are written as freely as possible. Many of these are the products of Cambridge English Readers authors like Sue Leather, Richard MacAndrew, Margaret Johnson, and Antoinette Moses. Page Turners makes good use of the forerunner's know-how, effectively adding a Macmillan English Readers-like illustrated introduction of characters before the text. Sue Leather and Julian Thomlinson's collaborated work Heart of a Fighter and Irene Barrall's unique, heartwarming story The Long Road to Lucca are highly recommended as excellent examples of this series. 続きを見る
5.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.53-64,  2020-03-31.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: Yoshinobu NISHIZAKI's 1978 anime movie Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato was a milestone in the history of Japan's animation, moving an audience of four million Japanese to tears at the ending where protagonist KODAI made a "Tokko" suicide attack on the White Comet in order to prevent it from invading the Earth. I, the author of this paper, saw the unforgettable film as a schoolboy knowing almost nothing about the background to the source of the powerful emotions. As I grew older, it became clear that we cried for the souls of the kamikaze members who chose to makeself-sacrifice just to defend their mother country Japan where their parents, siblings and friends lived; the crew of Japanese Navy's largest and strongest battleship Yamato were such unselfish patriots thinking first of other people's happiness. Through creating the Yamato series, NISHIZAKI devoted his life insisting on the true value of their deeds. Due to the postwar "peace" education in Japan, many of the ex-Yamato fans grew up to be typical Japanese adults who bitterly criticize the theme of Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato, ashamed of the tears they once shed. One of them Harutoshi FUKUI remade the legendary movie to Star Blazers 2202, removing the essence of NISHIZAKI's lifework. However, let us remember that it was the Yamato spirit that overcame the 2011 disaster of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and that Takashi YAMAZAKI's 2010 live-action movie Space Battleship Yamato was true to the original, paying a tribute to the memory of Yoshinobu NISHIZAKI(1934-2010). I also wrote this paper for him with not only respect but everlasting gratitude. 続きを見る
6.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.41-52,  2020-03-31.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: A talented producer Yoshinobu NISHIZAKI (1934-2010), who is famous for his legendary anime movie Farewell to Space Battl eship Yamato(1978), was disgraced as a "scoundrel" in his first biography titled The Man Who Made Space Battleship Yamato: The Madness of Yoshinobu NISHIZAKI(2015). Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato and its TV series Space Battleship Yamato II(1978-79) were recently remade as Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202(2017-19) by Harutoshi FUKUI, novelist known for film versions of his original works such as Lorelei and Gundam Unicorn. Contrary to Yamato fans’ expectations, thenewYamato2202turned out to be a sheer failure, or another disgrace to the lamented NISHIZAKI. In this paper, a close comparison is made between Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato and Space Battleship Yamato 2202, with some reference to NISHIZAKI's other Yamato films and FUKUI's own novels. As a result, their themes are proved to be opposed to each other: NISHIZAKI, belonging to the war generation, evaluated "Tokko" suicide attacks as respectable acts to protect compatriots, while FUKUI,postwar democrat, blindly believes in the "Peace" Constitution of Japan given by the US general Douglass MacArthur, from which protagonist KODAI's unbelievably obsessive, pacifistic deeds originate. 続きを見る
7.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.21-32,  2019-04-26. 
概要: Paula Hawkins's sensational world bestseller A Girl on the Train (2015) was accepted as a psychological thriller as soon as it appeared. Her eagerly-awaited second novel Into the Water (2017), however, seems to have disappointed most of her fans who expected a still more exciting and mysterious thriller than her first one. In fact, one crime novel critic did not conceal his utter disappointment, mentioning it would not be the best choice for crime readers because "the mystery and suspense elements of this story take a backseat." Interestingly enough, he could not help admitting that the novel in question is beautifully written, and he even recommended this book he disliked to those who love literary fiction or women's fiction. After all, he is a good critic, correctly pointing out Into the Water is a novel which satisfies academic readers much more than crime fiction lovers. Despite the fact that many readers undoubtedly regard Ms. Hawkins as a crime writer, it is doubtful that she thinks of herself as one. Reportedly she has no interest in Sherlock Holmes, and her editor of Riverhead usually avoids such genre. Which shows that Paula Hawkins is a serious writer who, I imagine, likes great authors of English and American literature such as Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and even Herman Melville. Her notorious techniques in the new novel, like the frequent changes of more than ten point-of-view characters, appear to derive from the l9th-20th centuries' literary experiments. Perhaps a large number of people who want just an entertainment for a weekend night will be unexpectedly at a loss to find the book they bought so complicated that they can hardly understand what is going on and cannot afford to reason who killed Nel Abbot, although Ms. Hawkins prepares a lot of hints. If you want to enjoy Into the Water to your heart's content, you should read it at least twice. Contrary to your first impression, the novel is quite similar to A Girl on the Train: Libby (the same name of the unfortunate baby drowned in the bathtub) is drowned again by a mob of hateful men this time at the opening of the new book. Paula Hawkins's common theme becomes clear due to this repetition. The death of the first Libby was brought by Mac, the irresponsible man who left the young Megan when she most needed him. Tom, another egoistic man, killed Megan when he knew she was pregnant. The heroines Rachel and Anna, though they were ex-enemies, took revenge on him with a corkscrew. Into the Water is a double–plot novel consisting of Nel's mysterious death and Katie’s pathetic suicide. The former is a real whodunit which reminds me of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), but Ms. Hawkins prefers the latter with a strong, feministic massage somewhat related to #MeToo trend. Katie’s story is not a mystery at all. She loved secretly Mark Henderson, a good-looking teacher very popular among female students. Since Katie was still a fifteen-year-old girl, Henderson was afraid of being arrested and put into jail where he would probably be the target of manly convicts. Katie drowned herself, trying to prevent their forbidden relation from being known to the public. Lena, her best friend who loved her, exacted revenge on Henderson, stabbing him with a “nail” (a variation of the corkscrew in the first novel) and pushing him off a cliff. This bloody killing is not narrated, the scene intentionally omitted but alluded with enough hints. Seemingly, Paula Hawkins is disappointed in men completely in Into the Water, where there is no Kamal. Again she succeeds in letting her heroine kill unpunished another handsome man as the scapegoat for the violent men who have abused women for many years. 続きを見る
8.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.33-44,  2019-04-26. 
概要: This paper is a guide to Foundations Reading Library, the 1-7 level graded readers series of 42 full-color illustrated b ooks, whose characters are mainly fictional “Bayview High School” students of diverse origins including Japanese and Koreans in the United States. This series is quite unique since many of introductory graded readers generally tend to be children’s books, or fairy tales written for children. Of course, it cannot be denied both Grimm’s and Andersen’s masterpieces are still worth reading for young adults, and even the graded readers for English-speaking children like Oxford Reading Tree and Info Trails are also readable and informative for high school students learning English as a foreign language. In reality, however, ordinary, Japanese high school students, especially male students, avoid those books probably because they look too childish for them to choose. Although there are stories retold or newly written for such students, they do not seem interesting enough to attract their attention. As for Foundations Reading Library, the main characters of the series are ordinary, American high school students, whom the Japanese counterparts can easily sympathize with. American high school life always looks so attractive to them, for example, part-time jobs, skateboards, rock concerts, rock bands, basketball, sports meets, bike races, summer camps, and dances. Furthermore, this series includes some extraordinary adventures such as fights against gangsters and robbers. Far from boring, Foundations Reading Library provides ideal textbooks to those who want to enjoy learning English from the basics by themselves. 続きを見る
9.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.9-20,  2018-03-26.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This is a critical essay on Bill O’Reilly’s American best-seller, Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World W ar II Japan (2016), which, soon introduced through the Internet, shocked some Japanese intellectuals. Considering the pitiless, ill-intentioned content for the Japanese, the book will never be translated into Japanese and probably remain unknown to ordinary people in Japan, many of whom like the United States. The writer of this essay, a Japanese scholar of comparative literature, analyzes how the atomic bombings are justified in Killing the Rising Sun, and criticizes the book using relevant materials, like the TV drama The Pacific produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hunks, which describes how innocent patriots like Eugene Sledge were to become coldblooded killers through the bloody battles against Japanese counterparts in Pacific islands like Peleliu; such theme is so universal that the series still has fans in Japan. The Japanese translation of Tears in the Darkness: the Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, a wonderful book by Michael & Elizabeth Norman, also has succeeded in moving the Japanese readers with the two different perspectives of America and Japan, and the authors’ sympathetic attitudes toward the ex-enemies. For example, the so-called beasts did not use Japanese swords so often as the fans of Killing the Rising Sun might imagine: in Mr. and Mrs. Norman’s book, a Japanese officer used his precious weapon just after he knew that the captive had stolen some money from one of his dead soldiers. Bill O’Reilly, on the contrary, only tells stories about good Americans fighting bad Japanese. Since he uses the present tense showing how America comes to drop the atomic bombs, it is understandable that his hatred is keen enough to appreciate Truman’s decision to kill hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians even though the president seems to have regretted to know that innocent women and children also died the most violent deaths ever known in human history. As Yuko Tojo, granddaughter of war-time prime minister Hideki Tojo, was welcomed by American veterans, offering flowers at the memorial service for the US marines in Peleliu in 1999, Japan and the United States are now close friends, having forgiven each other. Japan’s war crimes were severely punished at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and other trials in foreign countries such as China, the Philippines, and Russia. Nearly one thousand Japanese were executed, some of whom had been wrongly accused and spent their agonizing last days. General Iwane Matsui, one of the unfortunate, had respected China and had ordered all his soldiers to maintain military discipline, but was hanged for the now-called Rape of Nanking. Having built Koua-Kannon (a statue of the Goddess of Mercy for the Rising Asia) in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, the retired general had prayed every day for the souls of both the dead Japanese and Chinese soldiers. The Kannon statue still exists tenderly preserved by an elderly nun and her supporters. The world will admit that the Japanese are now peace-loving people. The atomic attacks are justified in Killing the Rising Sun in four ways: 1) by insisting that the Japanese were beasts; Tojo was a Hitler; Emperor Hirohito was incompetent, 2) by regarding the bombings as rightful revenge to Pearl Harbor, 3) by stressing that the two bombs saved “hundreds of thousands” of American soldiers, and 4) by mentioning that Bill O’Reilly was born thanks to the atomic bombs which saved the life of his future father who was about to take part in MacArthur’s land invasion of Japan. In answer to these, 1) The Japanese soldiers were not beasts, let alone women and children. Their violent acts were due to the nature of war itself. Somehow O’Reilly has omitted the last important sentence from the diary of a Japanese medical doctor who joined the killing of Chinese villagers: “War is truly terrible.” Tojo was no Hitler at all: as a believer in the future world free of racial discrimination, he let his subordinate Major General Higuchi save many Jews from the Nazis in Manchuria in 1938. No one can deny that the Emperor was a well-respected man leading the postwar Japan spiritually from the ashes to one of the wealthiest nations in the world. 2) Even the Tokyo trials rejected “the sneak attack.” The fact was, Japan was compelled to fight the unwanted war by President Roosevelt. 3) As Samuel J. Walker clarifies, the large number was a myth. Instead, “thousands” was said during the war. 4) Only this cannot be denied. It was a good thing that his father was alive. Yet it is more reasonable for Mr. O’Reilly to be grateful to the hundreds of thousands of Japanese substitutes, not to the terrible bombs. The Japanese people prefer to let bygones be bygones. In May 27, 2016, President Barak Obama said in Hiroshima, “We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 in Japanese men, women, children; thousands of Koreans; a dozen Americans held prisoners.” The US President was welcomed even by the aged, atomic bomb survivors. In conclusion, let us just set aside the heated disputes, and pray for all the war victims even if they were enemies. Mourning the dead is of crucial importance for world peace. 続きを見る
10.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.21-26,  2018-03-26.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This is an introduction for young Japanese learners of English to e-future (Korean publisher)’s new graded comic readers series of Vera the Alien Hunter (2016) written by Jason Wilburn & Casey Kim, and illustrated by Seungjun Park & Bioh Kang. The wonderful writing team of Wilburn & Kim reminds us of their former excellent works: Magic Adventures (2012) and School Adventures (2014), in both of which the charming siblings Jack and Bella are actively involved, leading the stories to happy endings. Compared to these adventures, the new illustrations are somewhat inferior to Jaehwan Jung’s in techniques; the character designs are rather unoriginal (in fact, Luca will never fail to remind the reader of Japan’s well-loved manga character Dora-emon). However, the plot of Vera the Alien Hunter is so well-made that the reader will never be able to predict how the series of Vera and Luca may be concluded. It can be read as a graphic novel of the teacher-student relationship where Luca earnestly teaches and trains Vera until she becomes the earth’s reliable alien hunter. The theme is their friendship in a Western sense, but more accurately, the typical, Eastern cultural affection between teacher and student, which can be found similar to the relationship between the Japanese-like teacher Yoda and his disciple Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. In the theme song recorded in the attached CD, Luca says to his student, “You have to trust me. You have to do your best. I’ll help you learn the things you need to know,” and Vera answers, “Yes, I will trust you. I’ll learn all I can learn. I will succeed if I believe in me.” Interestingly, the message suggests that the reader will succeed in learning English if he or she trusts this set of textbooks. Through the interesting comic books, it might be possible to gain as great self-confidence as the obedient student Vera has done. 続きを見る