A Rabbit's Eyes

The challenges of teaching are the same the world over

A Rabbit’s Eyes

By Kenjiro Haitani

Translated by Paul Sminkey
Paperback, 288 pages, 5.5 x 7.5 inches
978-1-932234-18-3 / 1-932234-18-7
U.S.$14.95 / CAN$19.95

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Ms. Kotani believes in her ill-behaved and ill-kempt students, especially the nearly autistic one with an obsession for flies. A Rabbit’s Eyes is a touching novel about a young and idealistic first-year elementary school teacher, her hardscrabble class of outcasts, and the reward for her belief in them. A call to action, from Japan’s schoolteachers’ favorite author.

Kenjiro Haitani’s love for children is not only sincere, but grounded in experience. The background for A Rabbit’s Eyes is his 17 years of teaching in an elementary school. Though he does not have a family of his own, he considers his students the promising future of a world that doesn’t deserve one. When A Rabbit’s Eyes came out in 1974, Japanese readership surprised him with their endorsement of his love, which is equal parts compassion and criticism, making it not only a bestseller but a constant reference for what the public school system in Japan can aspire to. To this day, A Rabbit’s Eyes and Haitani are cornerstones of popular Japanese fiction for believers in children.

“This strange and powerful little novel…
has an almost awkward sincerity. Here lurks Japan beyond manga.”
The Los Angeles Times

“Kenjiro Haitani… starting with A Rabbit’s Eyes, has fully grasped the secret to ushering a wide readership that surpasses children to include adults. He suffuses his work with astuteness and accesible minutiae, still managing to convey a clear moral message.”
—Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe