COVER TEXT ILLUSTRATION

  Migi Muke, Hidari! is the first book of Yoshimoto Naoshirô (1943 -) describing lively children based on his own experience. It became popular and serialized into Aoba Gakuen Monogatari [Tales of the Aoba School] in five volumes.
  The Aoba School is established for children whose parents were killed by the atomic bomb. Later, many children who cannot live with their family come and live there. In the first chapter, children discuss what to buy with the money they earned by selling a pig they had raised. Susumu, a six grader, tempts other boys and tries to buy uniforms with the money, but after a heated discussion, he loses in voting. In the second chapter, a new pig falls into a manure receptacle. Susumu is forced to go into the place by other pupils, and he saves the pig. Later, Susumu's mother, who once left from Susumu and his sick father, comes to the school. He climbs a tree and urinates, saying, "Go away!"
  The misunderstanding and misusage of words is one of the amusing elements of this book. Children sometimes say "Turn to the L-ight" in stead of "Turn to the Right," or takes the meaning of "kekkon tekireiki" [the best age for marriage] as a name of a rare insect and they leave to look for one. Their misunderstandings lead to their new action, discussion, and play. Yoshimoto sometimes adds humorous comments on their attitudes. The strong energy of the children in spite of their hard situation is very impressive. In his following stories, the tone becomes more serious, but in this first volume, humor and liveliness occupies the story.
  Together with the second volume Sayonara wa Hambun Dake [Half of Good-by], this book received the Japan Association of Writers for Children Newcomer Prize. In 1980, these two books were made into one movie directed by Ôsawa Yutaka.