No One's Perfect

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Kodansha International, Oct 1, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 226 pages
10 Reviews
A boy born without arms or legs tells his own amazing story!

Oto came home from school one day and told his parents he had signed up to play basketball. Most parents would be delighted; his were shocked. After all, Oto was born with no arms and no legs. But as this extraordinary young man has proven again and again, hard work, humor, versatility, and an upbeat approach to life are as valuable as limbs. No One's Perfect is his true account of how he slam-dunked one challenge after another, including basketball.

In a style purposefully meant to reach all ages, Oto writes about his unique childhood in Japan, a country that traditionally has shielded the disabled from the public eye. But hide Oto? Try hiding the sun! From his earliest days, he brought such a winning optimism into the crowds around him-curious kindergartners, skeptical members of the public school board, gaping passersby-that it was hard to resist him.

Now, as a young adult, Oto has taken on the work of establishing a "barrier-free" environment for others, in the government, in the media, in the eyes of all he meets. His book has sold over four million copies in Japan, where he has utterly changed the way people view the disabled.

Unsentimental and understated (you know the day-to-day routine can't have been as easy as he makes it sound), Oto's message nonetheless hits the heart. And though you need bravery and constant energy to overcome disabilities, you also need the understanding of those around you. Strong parents and unconventional teachers bucked the rigid status quo to give Oto a chance at a normal life, and he took it from there. Running races, learning to swim, even getting into fights, he made his classmates feel "He's one of us," so they were willing to join forces with him to help break down the barriers he faced.

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Review: No One's Perfect

User Review  - Goodreads

This is the first autobiography I've read by a Japanese person and it is distinctly Japanese which very much added to my enjoyment. Read full review

Review: No One's Perfect

User Review  - Goodreads

Interesting content concerning the life of a disabled person in Japan. Written at about a grade 5 level though. Could inspire some young people to think differently about people who are differently abled. Read full review

About the author (2003)

In 1976 in Tokyo, HIROTADA "OTO" OTOTAKE was born with tetra-amelia, a congenital condition leaving him with almost no arms and legs. Motivated by the idea that there are some things that only a disabled person can do, he became actively involved in a campaign for a "barrier-free" society while he was majoring in politics and economics at Japan's prestigious Waseda University. From April 1999 he worked as a co-presenter of a prime-time TV news program.

The Translator, GERRY HARCOURT, winner of the 1990 Wheatland Translation Prize, has translated seven books from Japanese. They include Requiem by Shizuko Go (Kodansha International), The Shooting Gallery by Yuko Tsushima, and The Japanese Family System in Transition by Emiko Ochiai.

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