Many of the 48 group girls have been given a book to read and do a book report on in partnership with Shueisha for their “Natsuichi Toshokan” project. Takahashi Minami’s essay was on “23 Funkan no Kiseki”, a short story by James Clavell, the famous author of the novel Shogun. Here is the original source for Minami’s essay [23分間の奇跡]
Takahashi Minami: “Reading 23-Minute Miracle”
People’s, and especially children’s, way of thinking is pliable.
I thought so once again while reading this book, and even thought it was a fearsome thing.
The things we hear and see and the people we meet in the short period of 23 minutes all shape our lives.
I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
But even I’ve met someone who’s changed my life. It was when I was in 4th year elementary school. A teacher transferred to our school from another school. My class had few students, and we were all together in the same class from year one until then. The good thing about it was that we all got along together very well, but the bad thing was… we were a class who gave the teachers a hard time. The boys in my class were all really looking forward to picking on the new homeroom teacher. They really didn’t like teachers. That’s why, when the new teacher arrived, wearing his characteristic blue Italian jersey, they saw him as nothing but new prey.
It’s just… this new teacher was different from all the teachers we’d had up until then. With just a few words, he was angry at us and started to lecture us. I think he was the first person who had ever gotten outwardly angry with our class.
At times, like a child, he would be the fastest out to the grounds to kick around the soccer ball. Up until the end, everyone called him “old man” and admired him. To us, he acted both as a teacher and a father, and maybe it was because I met someone like him that I started to trust adults a little bit.
I believe that every encounter is a necessary “miracle”.