Reading for Pleasure No.37

Kadono’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service” has a message that resonates

水野 邦太郎Profile


『天声人語 2018夏


The night of March 31 probably looked somewhat like the spring night of a full moon when 13-year-old witch-in-training Kiki leaves home for a strange town to develop her magical powers, according to a tradition in the world of witches.


When he first read the fantasy, Toshio Suzuki, a film producer who was involved in the production of the anime work, thought that many of its readers were young women, Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator once said in an interview.

Suzuki had the feeling that it was an allegorical story about “women who have come to work in cities from the countryside,” according to him.


“ I’m all excited, like when I’m about to open up a gift,” Kiki says cheerfully to her worried companion Jiji, a talking black cat, as she decides to open up a new chapter of life.


As she sees people walking in great haste, Kiki becomes scared for no good reason. She feels alienated as everybody in the town looks like they are moving around pretending not to know anyone else.

Kiki feels bad about herself and thinks she has to find something she can do to earn a living. Her struggle to find her place in the new town is both painful and inspiring to see.


When you go to a strange place to work or study, the first thing you need may be a small magical power. The magical power that enables you to speak to new people without fear, avoid being depressed when you feel lonely and cherish the time you spend alone. The story about Kiki’s adventure could help people through the challenging transition to a new life.


P r o f i l e

水野 邦太郎(みずの・くにたろう)

千葉県出身。江戸川大学メディアコミュニケーション学部教授。博士(九州大学 学位論文. (2017).「Graded Readers の読書を通して「主体的・対話的で深い学び」を実現するための理論的考察 ― H. G. Widdowson の Capacity 論を軸として ―」)。茨城大学 大学教育センター 総合英語教育部准教授・福岡県立大学人間社会学部准教授を経て、2018年4月より現職。

専門は英語教育学。特に、コンピュータを活用した認知的アプローチ(語彙・文法学習)と社会文化的アプローチ(学びの共同体創り)の理論と実践。コンピュータ利用教育学会 学会賞・論文賞(2007)。外国語教育メディア学会 学会賞・教材開発(システム)賞 (2010)。筆者監修の本に『大学生になったら洋書を読もう』(アルク)がある。

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