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March 1996 - Issue No. #22 (p. 19)


The Meaning of Internationalization

The Meaning of Internationalization

Published by Charles C. Tuttle, 1988

This book is recommended for courses on world citizenship, global education, cross-cultural studies or international relations. Reischauer addresses Japanese young people, specifically, and emphasizes the importance of their developing a sense of becoming world citizens and defines that as the true meaning of internationalization.

Reischauer devotes a whole chapter to "What Can Japan Contribute to the World" in which he discusses Japanese virtues that young Japanese need to be reminded of. In his chapter "On Studying a Foreign Language," he explains why it is difficult for Japanese to learn foreign languages and describes the linguistic isolation of most Japanese. Yet, he stresses how important it is for young Japanese to improve their English-speaking skills not only for their personal future, but for that of Japan and the world.

In sum, he tells the Japanese more about themselves and encourages them to learn more about other people's cultures and customs, to travel - or better yet - live in other countries and learn to see things from others' perspectives (in Japanese "aite no tachiba ni kangaite kudasai").

For my junior college seminar class, I make up simplified study guides because the English is a bit difficult for my students. To lighten the course at the beginning, we have fun talking about how Japan and Japanese are already international. Don't we drink cafe au lait, eat spaghetti, salad, omelets and hamburgers, and wear jeans, Reeboks, and so on? We discuss the origin of these items and talk about where things thought to be definitely Japanese (like tempura) came from.

- Reviewed by Hedi Deuschle


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Kip A. Cates, Tottori University, Koyama, Tottori City, JAPAN 680-8551
E-mail: Work Tel/Fax: 0857-31-5650