Tonoharu: Part One

Tonoharu: Part One

Lars Martinson / Jan 27, 2020

Tonoharu Part One Daniel Wells begins a new life as an assistant junior high school teacher in the rural Japanese village of Tonoharu Isolated from those around him by cultural and language barriers he leads a monasti

  • Title: Tonoharu: Part One
  • Author: Lars Martinson
  • ISBN: 9780980102321
  • Page: 176
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Daniel Wells begins a new life as an assistant junior high school teacher in the rural Japanese village of Tonoharu Isolated from those around him by cultural and language barriers, he leads a monastic existence, peppered only by his inept pursuit of the company of a fellow American who lives a couple towns over But contrary to appearances, Dan isn t the only foreigner tDaniel Wells begins a new life as an assistant junior high school teacher in the rural Japanese village of Tonoharu Isolated from those around him by cultural and language barriers, he leads a monastic existence, peppered only by his inept pursuit of the company of a fellow American who lives a couple towns over But contrary to appearances, Dan isn t the only foreigner to call Tonoharu home Across town, a group of wealthy European eccentrics are boarding in a one time Buddhist temple, for reasons that remain obscure to their gossiping neighbors Top Shelf is proud to distribute the Xeric Award winning graphic novel from Lars Martinson

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      Posted by:Lars Martinson
      Published :2018-012-16T08:40:45+00:00

    About "Lars Martinson"

      • Lars Martinson

        Lars Martinson Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Tonoharu: Part One book, this is one of the most wanted Lars Martinson author readers around the world.


    1. This really isn't a bad book. It just suffers from the fact that the main character is so painfully awkward. It's hard to read because you keep thinking, "Jesus, pull it together 5%. And stop being in love with a girl you met for four minutes who is obviously not interested in you."I'm a big fan of books where the main character is unlikable. A jerk or an idiot or even painfully shy. But painfully shy is hard. As a reader, it's hard to feel compelled to keep reading when you're sort of yelling c [...]

    2. This is a pretty little graphic novel based on the author's experiences teaching English in a small Japanese village. At times it got a little too "Lost In Translation" for me (those cold exotic Japanese people make me feel sooooo alienated and melancholy. Boo fucking hoo, at least TRY to learn some Japanese before you go live in Japan for a year, whitey!), but the illustration style is nice. Grey-green sepia tones and lots of shading lines. Pretty.

    3. Uh. Well, this was a disappointment.I picked up this book for the cover and was so interested to see such a sparse work. Martinson writes the panels with little speech and sometimes the narrator's words above the panel, but other than that there's little text. I really enjoyed the muted three-tone colour palette and the line art, that was beautiful. but I was just disappointed. Looking at the blurb, I thought it would be a firm favourite. I love melancholy, slow-moving Japanese books, particular [...]

    4. This is the story of an American teaching English in Japan. While the sense of disconnection and uncertainty is understandable, the book seems to be not about the disorientation of living in a foreign country, but about the character's own apathy and inability to connect with anyone. The story moves very slowly and very little actually happens. For someone who was willing to take the step of moving to another country alone, Dan is surprisingly unwilling to make any effort to interact with people [...]

    5. I often felt frustrated that the milquetoast main character didn't engage more. And yet his diffidence and blandness feel real. The art is impressive and a pleasure to look at. I look forward to the second volume.

    6. This is part one of four about a man who goes to Japan to teach English.He's not really sympathetic at all. He's not very interesting, and his interests are limited. (The students ask him questions during his introductory lesson. He didn't come up with any hobbies, and when pressed by another westerner, the only things he could come up with were 'sleeping and watching tv.') He doesn't seem to appreciate the culture around him.I could give him advice - get a tutor, branch out and meet people, don [...]

    7. Definitely feels like part one of a larger story -- we barely get to know the main character, the setting, and the supporting cast in this short volume, but I'm intrigued to read more. I like how well "culture shock" is portrayed in this story, with our young protagonist experiencing everything from confusion to boredom to joy at his experiences in a small Japanese town. The main character's moping and time-wasting is frustrating to read about, but it fits his personality and concept: a young ma [...]

    8. Guy moves to Japan to teach English. Can't be arsed to learn the language even after months of living there. Has no hobbies but complains about how boring it is and how he can't connect to people. Wastes his time and then can't understand why he doesn't have enough stuff prepped.Honestly, this character evoked no sympathy from me, because the more I read, the more certain I was that I could do a better job than he did. He threw himself into an important and life-changing situation with not even [...]

    9. Part one of a planned four part plus series. The illustrations are great, especially the lovely cover, endpapers and wonderfully detailed title page.Tonoharu starts with a first-person account of an Assistant English Teacher, or AET, at a middle school in Japan mulling over whether to renew his contract for another school year. He reviews some of his experiences over the previous 8 months, wonders a bit about the AET who taught before him, and doesn't come to a decision. The story continues as a [...]

    10. The framework of this story is such that it begins with the main character leaving his job as an assistant English teacher in Japan and moving back home. Then we are instantly thrown into a flashback in which we start with his first day on the job. It’s an interesting way of getting the readers involved in the story, because we want to see how things progressed to the point where they ended up. Tonoharu then is a book that makes you want more, and I cannot wait for the next installment.

    11. Startlingly good - the art is lovely, and the level of detail in the drawings is exquisite. The story is lovely, though at times, Daniel Wells' awkwardness and shy nature made me want to squirm in sympathetic embarrassment. The sign of a well-written story, I think.

    12. Good enough but I won't be seeking out part two. The unfortunate thing for this graphic novel is that my friend wrote a short story on basically the same thing and I loved that so much and it was so insightful and funny that this seems a bit dull in comparison. Nice illustrations though.

    13. Rather bleak, but truthful to the point which is that in the absence of steady communication, how valued is each piece of communication then becomes to someone even if they never really communicated with others before. But also very painful when that communication value is not shared on both sides or assumed that everyone is fine. The cultural differences with one teacher not going out for fear of bumping into students being "embarrasing." The time period for the setting according to the afterwa [...]

    14. If I were rating this book strictly for the art, it'd be a solid 4/5. The style is simple, the characters cartoonish; but the backgrounds and little details are filled with obvious dedication from the author. Unfortunately, the characters and story itself are awful. I just plain dislike reading about Dan's inability to express himself. His awkwardness leaps off the page in the worst possible way — he comes off as the kind of guy who got bullied by band kids in high school.

    15. absolutely no point to this book of a terribly boring whiny human, only serves to perpetuate stereotypes. pretty angry that i wasted time reading this.

    16. As a previous JET participant, this book is 100% accurate to the feelings of the first few months of none to little Japanese ability. Looking forward to reading the rest!

    17. I used to have the wish to move to Japan, so I thought this book would be interesting. It's nicely drawn and has a solid sense of mood and tone throughout, bute main character is so irritatingly unlikeable as to make the entire comic frustrating.

    18. I feel the need to give this a review because so many reviews of this are waaaay on the negative scale and, for the most part, I totally agree. But this book has a few (at least two) redeeming qualities.Pros:1) The art. The line art in this was amazing. The character's looks were a little too Dilbert for my liking and didn't really mesh well with the background, but the backgrounds themselves were enough for me to like it.2) The idea of the story. (Right, I didn't say the story itself.) The idea [...]

    19. A well drawn comic, and one told with some moments of touching honesty. Ultimately though, I won't be seeking out the other three volumes in the series. There are some wonderful moments in Tonoharu. Dan Wells, the main character, is the only American living in the rural, Japanese town where he works as an English teacher. He bumbles through painfully awkward interactions with his coworkers. The anxiety in these scenes is palpable, and they left me sympathizing with Dan.For all of Tonoharu's poig [...]

    20. Daniel is a brutally mundane character who somehow makes the reader want to keep reading and find out more about his experiences as an English teaching assistant in Japan. He is easy to dislike and shake your head at…a very insufferable and pitiful person. He doesn’t have much going for him, he is embarrassingly homesick, completely socially inept, and seems like he just doesn’t want to accept having a good time. He has never worked a job in his life before the T.A. gig, and in an introduc [...]

    21. While I’ve never been to Japan, checked out the JET program, or lived outside the country I was born in, I identified with some of the themes presented in “Tonoharu.” It is a fairly bleak look at the aimless feeling of some aspects of post college life in the era of the “quarter life crisis” and the self-loathing loneliness and lack of ambition of the main character, Daniel Wells, is something I’ve seen in myself as well as my peers at various low points of our lives between college [...]

    22. Lars Martinson employs a skillful attention to detail of each panel. Aside from the great artwork I am personally engaged by the storyline, which I admit might not be of interest to everyone. It is the story of Dan Wells working as an Assistant Language Teacher in a fictional small rural town in Fukuoka-ken ala the JET Program, which I spent two years teaching on in Koshigaya, Saitama from 1997-1999. And although Koshigaya is a city of more than 200,000 people, with more than 10 other JETS, abou [...]

    23. About an American man seemingly disappointed in Japan as an English teacher, this book is somewhat flat and unexciting. Perhaps I am very harsh on the main character because this is an opportunity for which I desire and here he seems to whine and whine. Did he not foresee that it would be difficult? Was it really such a surprise that he is lonely as a foreigner in Japan? And, before another female English teacher helped provide him with ideas for teaching through a relationship he is desperately [...]

    24. The story so far is that of a very awkward American who decides to move to Japan to teach Englishhaving absolutely no qualifications to teach whatsoever.But in reality there's a double story going on as the narrator of the prologue is not the same as of the main story.He feels ostracized, he feels alienated, he's lonely, but as others have pointed out, he also doesn't try very hard to adapt to his new surroundings and seems incredibly dull. He mentions sleeping and watching tv as hobbies. One is [...]

    25. A quirky little memoir that relies on some heavy caricature to be clever. The author writes about going into the JET Programme and teaching English in a rural Japanese town. This memoir relies on the isolation and cultural difference to make itself relevant. The only issue is, most of the issues seem to be cause by the narrator's awkwardness. He even goes as far as to mention that when he gets drunk, and his inhibitions go away, he actually fits in quite well. This all sort of makes the narrator [...]

    26. I'm giving this book 3 stars, mainly because it's just part 1 and the way it's broken down, I feel like it isn't enough of the story. But thus far, I like it very much. It's serious and funny, and reminds me of how I felt at times in South America, or the people I met who were there alone. Hoping for a certain kind of adventure and being unaware of how or if they would get it. I wish though the book wasn't broken down into part one and part two, I believe there is an edition where part one and p [...]

    27. I loved this book. Lately, I've been reading anything that I can get my hands on about Japan. This graphic novel was recommended to me by a patron at the library. The story, after a slightly confusing prologue, follows an American who gets a job teaching English in Japan. Lars Martinson did actually work as a teacher in Japan for several years, and from what I can gather, there are strong autobiographical elements in the work. The aching loneliness and even slight grotesquerie of everyday life ( [...]

    28. Tonoharu is the story of a man who comes to a rural Japanese town to teach English. As someone who's lived in Japan while teaching English, I found this book made me depressed and angry with the protagonist, Daniel. The prologue I understood and even sympathized with to a degree because I know of a lot of good reasons for breaking your teaching contract or not renewing it. But then it started in on the main story and you find out that the real reason Daniel isn't getting anything out of his stay [...]

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