Close Menu

Caribbean Journal of Education

An Approach to Teaching English and Caribbean Poetry in Japan

Publication Date: 
September 2013

Introducing any poetry composed in English into Japanese classrooms of higher education requires two processes: one is the translation of English poems into Japanese and the next is to familiarize Japanese students with the cultural contexts in which the poetry is written and read. Once the two requisites have been achieved, Japanese students are able to enjoy the culturally different world of English poetry.

The present article is a report from my classrooms about introducing English and Caribbean poetry into sophomore students in two universities in the Tokyo area: Wayo Women's University in Chiba prefecture and Seikei University of the metropolis. Wayo University's Reading Poetry seminar provides an opportunity for us to recognize the power of English poetry and the stillness of Japanese calligraphy. Seikei students have been accustomed to a mixture of mimicry and a Black girl's resistance to White supremacy, which Una Marson, a Jamaican woman poet as well as an activist for racial and sexual equality, articulated in her poems. The following article shows Japanese students' appropriation of English poetry into Japanese traditional culture and responses to Una Marson's poetic strategy in their classes.

To access the journal articles, create an account and login.

Top of Page