Monday, 4 August 2008

PostHeaderIcon Bad Japan: A Mother's Lullaby

This is taken from a New Horizon textbook which I use to teach 3rd grade at junior high school:

By a road near the city of Hiroshima, a very big, old tree stands. Through the years, it has seen many things. One summer night the tree heard a lullaby. A mother was singing to her little girl under the tree. They looked really happy. And the song sounded very sweet. Then the tree remembered something sad. "Yes, it was some sixty years ago. I heard a lullaby that night, too."

On the morning of that day, a big bomb fell on the city of Hiroshima. A great many people lost their lives, and many others were injured. They had burns all over their bodies. Some of them were moving very slowly. I was very sad when I saw those people. It was a very hot day. Some of the people fell down beside me. They could not even stand. I said to them, "Come and rest in my shade. You'll be all right soon."

Night came. Some people were already dead. Then I heard a weak voice. It was a lullaby. A young girl was singing to a little boy. "Mommy! Mommy!" the boy cried. "Don't cry," the girl said. "Mommy is here." Then she began to sing again. She was also weak, but she tried to be a mother to the poor little boy. She held him in her arms like his real mother.

"Mommy," the boy was still crying. "Be a good boy," said the girl. "You'll be all right." She held the boy more tightly and began to sing again. After a while the boy stopped crying and quietly died. But the little mother did not stop singing. It was a sad lullaby. The girl's voice became weaker and weaker. Morning came and the sun rose, but the girl never moved again.

Did I mention that this is one of the first few lessons all newly arriving JETs will have to teach? Welcome to Japan!


Dana said...

I stumbled across this page while I was trying to show a friend the garbage I'd have to teach. Quite glad I'm not the only poor sap to deal with it. I would figure this would be better suited to social studies or history but I'm not a fan of Japanese Efficiency.

Anyway, cheers! Enjoy reading your stories, find myself chuckling as I read. Hope that you're still enjoying yourself and keeping above all the nonsense.

Carla Johnson said...

Yep, they made me read that right after I arrived in Japan as a JET ALT in 2001. The worst part, I had to read it only 3 days after the September 11th attacks. So it was a highly emotional time for all American overseas.

This was the only time I ever cried in front of students, and if the airlines had been running I would have been on the first plane back to Florida. It's high inappropriate to make any American read that.

If a guest teacher from Japan came over to the US, we would not make them read a story about Pearl Harbor or Nanking or the Bhutaan death march aloud.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.