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Rhythms, Rites and Rituals: My Life in Japan in Two-step and Waltz-time

Ratings:
265 pages3 hours

Summary

Including her survival of Japan’s Great Kanto Earthquake, this book is an enthralling account of Dorothy Britton’s life, loves and discoveries in an amazingly varied life and career. Bilingual from birth, she found the immense joy of blending in with peoples of different cultures simply by getting the sound right when speaking their languages to the extent that she herself sounds Japanese. While interviewing Talent Education’s Shinichi Suzuki, she realized his peerless ‘mother tongue method’ for learning the violin was ideal for foreign languages too. While composing music for many documentary films introducing Japan to the world, in Empire Photosound’s beautiful My Garden Japan she used the ancient instruments of the Imperial Court Orchestra. The film was shown daily at Montreal’s EXPO 67 where it garnered a prize. Amusing episodes and stories of fascinating people and relationships abound in the book, as do valuable insights into topics such as the post-war Occupation and its impact on everyday life, the role of women, learning Japanese, marriage customs, food and many other aspects of Japanese culture and society. Appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010 for her highly regarded contributions to bridging two cultures, this long-awaited memoir will be widely welcomed. Here is the remarkable and remarkably frank story of a life lived to the full by the doyenne of British residents in Japan that has benefited so many and touched the lives of countless others.

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