Gaijin Teacher; Foreign Sensei
When a California surfer turned teacher takes a second chance at marriage, he not only marries his bride's family but her nation, Japan. This story follows the trials and tribulations amid the culture shock of a middle-aged couple as well as the challenges facing a small foreign community working at an English immersion school in Numazu, Japan. After fifteen years of single life, former California surfer turned teacher, Will Mast, marries the coquettish Yumiko Hirota, an English teacher from Gotemba, Japan.
Will takes a job at a prestigious English immersion school and quickly gets into trouble from his lack of knowledge of Japanese ways. Will commits one faux pas after another while eating at the family restaurant and attending a tea ceremony conducted by Yumiko's father, the tradition-loving, kendo-wielding master chef, Hirota Akihiro-san.
At first seeming to be a simple tale of a cross-cultural marriage, one finds oneself immersed in the many layers of cultural interaction that America and Japan have faced, from Commodore Perry's Black Ships to the dropping of the bomb in Hiroshima. Weeks' first novel, Gaijin Teacher; Foreign Sensei, captures the courage, humor, embarrassments, idiosyncrasies, and tragedies of these special individuals as they interact with traditional Japanese culture.
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The comforts and assurances of true love emerge when we risk enough to change everything. Mr. Weeks tells this beautiful love story, and the marvelous adventures that happen along the way when the main character marries a Japanese woman and then moves to Japan for several years. From the free flowing surf of California to the imposing shadows of Mt. Fuji, the characters adapt to languages, customs, and the quirks of life in their new homelands.
In our small world, with instant communications and distances of less than 24 hours, friendship and love become possible, even when great distances and time intercede. A look at any community will show how differences make us stronger. We need to look at the message and find our bliss.