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Friendship Through Fiction – An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories

Edited and with a foreword by Holly Thompson
Published by Stone Bridge Press
Now available from fine booksellers and online.

It has been one year after the 2011 Japan Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, with many still affected by the aftermath to this day. Tomo, meaning “friend” in Japanese is a collection of short stories and graphic art aimed at readers aged 12 and up, in hopes to bring teens and readers worldwide closer to Japan while helping support young people affected or displaced by the disaster.

Featuring a variety of stories divided into seven categories of friendship, folk tales and ghosts, talents, fantasy, cultural differences, families, and natural disasters, these 36 unique, heartwarming tales allow readers to feel Japan and its culture, as well as identify with the characters and their experiences during the sensitive teen years and the struggle to belong and to mature.  From historical times to modern day, from traditions to current pop culture, from countryside to big city, from the country of Japan to Japanese communities around the world, these stories can also connect English-language readers with the heart of Japan.

Whether readers have an avid interest in Japan, have had personal experiences with Japan and its culture, or simply readers facing the same teen challenges of growing up, all will find something to relate to and enjoy.  Editor, Holly Thompson, longtime teacher, writer and resident of Japan, collected short stories from international contributors with various levels of writing experience, but all whom share a special tie with Japan.  These include graphic artist, Tak Toyoshima, translations of Kenji Miyazawa, indigenous Ainu tribe translation by Yukie Chiri among others, as well as contributors from Tohoku.

Proceeds will go toward long-term relief efforts for teens in the Tohoku region of Japan and the nonprofit organization “Hope for Tomorrow,” which provides educational expenses and support to high school students in hard-hit areas.