Wednesday, March 11, 2015

In the Wake of 3/11

Today, March 11, 2015, marks the four-year anniversary of 3/11, the date of the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused tremendous devastation in northern Japan, particularly in Tohoku. There is still much struggle and hardship in the region, and Tomo has continued to support teens in Tohoku through the NPO Hope for Tomorrow


Ishinomaki, May 4, 2011 (photo by Holly Thompson)

Have you read the 36 stories in the Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction anthology? On this Tomo Anthology blog is an extensive Readers' Guide to the anthology, as well as many, in-depth interviews featuring author and translator contributors.

Below are some articles that may be of interest on this fourth anniversary, two of them by Louise George Kittaka, a Tomo anthology contributing author:







And below is a free webinar to be held on April 15 by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia featuring works in two concurrent exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston: 

The Great Wave of Hokusai and the Great Wave of 3/11: Japanese Artists' Responses to Nature

Wishing all in Tohoku love and wellness--from the Tomo Anthology community of authors, translators, illustrators and the generous publisher Peter Goodman of Stone Bridge Press

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Artistic and Activist Responses to 3/11

Soon the four-year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Great Eastern Japan Tsunami and Earthquake will be upon us. Sales of Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories published by Stone Bridge Press continue to support teens in the tsunami and quake affected areas--teens impacted by the Tohoku Triple Disaster--via the NPO Hope for Tomorrow.

The Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction Reader's Guide continues to provide guidance for book groups, teachers and students, and is supported by the many in-depth contributor interviews featured on this blog.

This month Asia-Pacific Journal (Vol. 13, Issue 6) focuses on artistic and activist responses to the 3/11 disaster.

Alexander Brown and Vera Mackie, "Introduction: Art and Activism in Post-Disaster Japan", The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue 6, No. 1, February 16, 2015

The introduction by Alexander Brown and Vera Mackie contains a footnote with recommended reading that includes Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction and serves as an excellent reading list:

In addition to the extensive coverage in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, see, inter alia, Jeff Kingston, ed., Tsunami: Japan’s Post-Fukushima Future, Foreign Policy Magazine, Washington D.C., 2011; Jeff Kingston, ed., Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after Japan’s 3/11, Routledge, Oxford, 2012; Holly Thompson, ed., Tomo: Friendship through Fiction: An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley; David Karashima and Elmer Luke, eds, March was Made of Yarn: Reflections on Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdown, Vintage, New York, 2012; Lucy Birmingham and David McNeill, eds, Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2012; Mark Willacy, Fukushima: Japan’s Tsunami and the Inside Story of the Nuclear Meltdown, Pan Macmillan Australia, Sydney, 2013; Hiroshima City University 3/11 Forum, Japan’s 3/11 Disaster as Seen From Hiroshima: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Sanseidō, Tokyo, 2013; Roy Starrs, ed., When the Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan, Global Oriental, Leiden, 2014; and Japan Forum, Vol. 26, No 3, 2014.

In this Asia-Pacific Journal focus, there are eight articles in addition to the introductory piece, all tackling some aspect of artistic and activist response to the 3/11 disasters. The series makes for important reading regarding the profound effect of the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster on the lives of people in Tohoku and throughout Japan. May we never forget. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Three Years After, Tomo Keeps Giving

March 11, 2014 marked the three-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Recently the 2013 earnings from sales of Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction plus the Stone Bridge Press publisher donation--a total of 50,000 yen--was transferred to the Japan-based NPO Hope for Tomorrow.



Hope for Tomorrow continues to provide meaningful much-needed support to teens in the quake and tsunami affected areas of Tohoku in northern Japan.

Your purchase of Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories really does make a difference to teens in Tohoku. Consider donating a copy of Tomo to your school or town library, suggesting it to book groups, and purchasing copies as gifts.

See Hope for Tomorrow's website to learn about this small NPO with a big heart and their commitment to longterm education-focused aid for young people in Tohoku.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tomo Travels---to Wichita, Kansas

This summer Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction was featured in Wichita, Kansas. 

Hear more from Tomo contributor Avery Fischer Udagawa:

This summer, the Wichita Eagle newspaper listed Tomo as one of the top-selling titles at Watermark Books and Cafe, a local independent bookstore. Watermark’s majority owner Sarah Bagby has spoken on behalf of indies to the New York Times, and Newbery Award-winning author Clare Vanderpool thanks the store in her latest title Navigating Early.



How did Tomo end up at Watermark?

I had the pleasure to speak there in mid-July about translating J-Boys, a novel by Tomo contributor Shogo Oketani, and “House of Trust,” the short story by Sachiko Kashiwaba that appears in Tomo. My Kansas-based family drummed up a terrific crowd of listeners, and Watermark boosted inventory and included Tomo in its media offerings.


It was amazing to see Watermark support a talk on translation and an anthology focused on Japan. I am grateful also to Wichitans who took interest in Tomo, buying books to benefit teen survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.


I plan to include Tomo in future talks at bookstores, libraries, conferences and schools and know other contributors will do likewise. What a terrific avenue it gives us to spread the word about Tohoku! Interested readers are everywhere.

Thank you, Avery!

So, do you have a story or photos to share about Tomo travels? Contact editor Holly Thompson: tomoanthology (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Talking Translation--TOMO in the AFCC Translation Seminars

The Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) is a conference in Singapore with various tracks, workshops and seminars. This year, for the first time, a translation track was offered during the day of seminars, and the track of four seminars featured Tomo translator contributors Avery Fischer Udagawa and Alexander O. Smith, as well as editor Holly Thompson. In the individual talks and panel discussion, Tomo came up again and again--the nature of the project; the nitty-gritty aspects of translation; the search for and selection of stories; the correspondence between editor, translators and authors; the editing process, and publication and promotion.

Here is translator Avery Fischer Udagawa talking at AFCC about the Boston launch of Tomo, to which author Sachiko Kashiwaba and daughter wore kimono with the obi tied in the same way as depicted in the story.

Avery spoke of sharing these photos with students during school visits in Japan and Thailand, thereby making a local event travel the world.

The AFCC translation panel also featured Harvey Thomlinson, publisher from Hong Kong, and Mohd Khair Ngadiron, CEO Institut Terjemahan & Buku Malaysia. It was great to see the translation seminars well attended by authors, translators, publishers and editors from around Asia, all eager to see more stories from Asia translated into English.

AFCC Translation Panel
And it's been so nice to see Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction being snapped up by attendees at the conference. Here are a few excited fans of the book, which is still helping to provide longterm support for teens in Tohoku. Thank you!
Young writers Afi Noor and Hemizah from Malaysia and author Evelyn Wong of Singapore


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tomo in the World Literature Classroom

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction is making its way into school libraries and classrooms and is being adopted as a textbook in some schools. I was happy to hear from teacher Lee Karpa from Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School in Massachusetts about how Tomo was used in a new World Lit elective. Here are Lee's words:
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"Recently our English Department embarked on a new endeavor, offering a World Literature elective course in addition to the general four-year required English classes. The one-semester elective was launched in September of 2011 and was successful enough for the course to be offered again in the 2012-2013 school year.

"In this Contemporary World Literature elective, students are asked to read and write beyond the rather challenging demands of their required English classes. I began the year with the study of Japan, its literature, film, and culture. We began reading selections from Tomo which gave students manageable reading chunks. Not only were the selections accessible, they were enjoyed by all of the students. I began by assigning a few short stories to the entire class, then having students choose a selection which was later shared with the rest of the students. Based on the students’ reviews, each student chose another story to read. Finally, students who had read the same story met to discuss. In this way, the majority of the stories were covered.

"The Tomo stories in verse were shared primarily in class, with students reading the poetry aloud, followed by discussion. A couple of the longer poems were read by each student reading one stanza. The students loved this manner of reading poetry, feeling that the verse came alive and became approachable.

"Tomo was the perfect vehicle for beginning a World Literature class."
__

Thank you, Lee, and thank you to all schools, book groups and classrooms that use Tomo. Thank you for being friends to Tohoku through fiction. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

YARN Visits Japan--with a Tomo Story Lesson Plan

The Young Adult Review Network (YARN) shared a sneak peak at Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction last year that featured the Tomo story "Love Right on the Yesterday" by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, and now YARN has developed a lesson plan to go with this story.



Have a look at this YARN post which features two Japan-set stories and a lesson plan and assignments to accompany them. The lesson focuses on writing with a sense of place. Thank you to YARN for this excellent teaching post.

Also, check out the Reader's Guide to Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction here which has discussion questions and writing prompts for the entire Tomo anthology as well as for each individual story. Proceeds from Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction go to organizations that benefit teens in Tohoku affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.



Friday, March 1, 2013

Tomo Story in Cricket Magazine

This month Part 1 of Marji Napper's short story "The Lost Property Office" which is published in Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction appears in Cricket Magazine, with full color illustrationsAlso featured in this issue, "a Japanese delight" according to the editors, are other stories stories related to Japan, so if you can get your hands on a copy of the magazine do have a look.


For an interview with the story's author Marji Napper in the Contributors and Interviews section of this Tomo Blog, click here. And for discussion questions relating to "The Lost Property Office, download the free Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction Reader's Guide

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Giving through Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--2012 Donation to Hope for Tomorrow

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories is a benefit anthology of young adult fiction, and it is a pleasure to announce the first donation resulting from the sales of this collection of Japan-related stories. As explained in previous Tomo Blog posts (here and here) the first donations from the sales of Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction will go to Hope for Tomorrow (hope-tomorrow.jp), the Japan-based NPO that provides three methods of support (Educational Support Program, the International Exchange Support Program, and the Foreign Language Support Program) to high school students in areas of Tohoku hardest hit by the major tsunami and earthquake of 2011.

A donation of 100,000 yen (at the current exchange rate about 1,200 USD) was made today to Hope for Tomorrow. This money includes royalty earnings for the first half of 2012 (Tomo was published in March 2012) plus Stone Bridge Press publisher donations for that same period (rounded up with an additional 727 yen from the editor for a total of 75,000 yen), as well as editor's advance money (25,000 yen). Note that the editor's advance has otherwise only been used for printing Tomo publicity postcards, and a small amount has been set aside to enable more cards to be printed.

A huge thank you to all the Tomo authors and translators for donating their stories and their time. Also thanks to Peter Goodman at Stone Bridge Press for the generous publisher donations and for making this project possible. And thank you to Hope for Tomorrow, for providing much needed long-term support for teens in Tohoku.

Please continue to support this project--tell your friends about Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction. Tell teachers and librarians about the Tomo Reader's Guide, which is full of discussion questions and writing activities, and remind them about the extensive cache of author, illustrator and translator interviews on the Tomo Blog. And consider purchasing copies of Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction as holiday gifts--order through your local bookseller, your favorite online bookseller, or through Stone Bridge Press.


The teens in Tohoku need our long-term encouragement and support. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The TOMO Reader's Guide--Now Available

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction is a rich collection of 36 stories relating to Japan, ideal for classrooms, libraries and book groups. Now the Tomo Reader's Guide is available for download. 



To download the PDF of the Reader's Guide click here or visit the Reader's Guide section of this Tomo Blog. Included in the Reader's Guide are writing activities (creative writing, translation and academic writing) and discussion questions, both general and story by story, to accompany the Tomo anthology. 

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction is a benefit anthology, with proceeds going to benefit teens in the Tohoku areas of Japan affected by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.

Feel free to share feedback about the Reader's Guide, as it will be periodically improved and updated. Thank you!