Monday, June 8, 2015

Flight Paths of the Emperor by Steven Heighton

Meeting Details:
Erica’s house on Thursday, June 11 at 7:30.

Discussion Questions:
1. Did you enjoy the book? Why or why not?

The Battle at Midway
2. How does the introductory clip from THE JAPAN TIMES add to the story? What is the context?
3. The narrator clearly speaks Japanese, and yet, the family repeats. Why?
4. How do the guests fulfill/defy their hosts’ expectations?
5. How is the karaoke a symbol for their communication?
6. What did you think of the unexpected video? Why does it make Mr. Fujita uncomfortable?
7. What do you think Mr. Fujita’s daughter whispered into the wife’s ear?

An Apparition Play
8. What did you think of the relationship between father and daughter?
9. What does the father understand that his daughter does not about life? love? Japan?
10. How do others view the pair?
11. Why do you think Sharon is changing her name?

Slaughtering Darkness: Three Tales of China
12. What connections do we see between the three stories? How are they connected? Why are they placed together? What does each story teach about the others?

A Man With No Master
13. Why do you think the teacher is kidnapped?
14. What was the principal’s crime?
15. What is the relationship between the kidnappers and the victim?
16. On page 205, Katana-san says, “Hospitality is an important part of our, our heritage here - our code.” What evidence of this sentiment do we see in the story?

17. Discuss the use of TV or music to introduce a subtext or reinforce a message.
18. “[This collection of short stories] is an exploration of the cultural differences between East and West as witnessed by a young traveller working and studying in Japan.” How do the natives view the foreigners? How do the foreigners view the natives?
19. Would you recommend the book to others? Why or why not?

Menu - East meets West

Japanese Appetizer - Sunomono (cucumber salad) - Tamara
Japanese Main Course - sushi - Karen
Japanese Dessert- Kasutera (sponge cake ) - Tessa

Canadian Appetizer - poutine - Erica
Canadian Main Course - bacon and cheese hot dogs - Danielle
Canadian Dessert - Nanimo Bars - Stephanie

Because I usually enjoy, here is a link that provides options for main course and appetizers.

Several stories also mention some specific food items by name.

p. 7 has a lengthy description of a lovely Japanese ingredients - quail eggs, rice, smelt, salmon
p. 9 - sushi is mentioned - The restaurant has a sushi bar.
p. 27 - raw tuna, clam, squid, raw sea urchin
p. 58 - nabeyaki and mountain vegetables
p. 198 - small jar of homemade pickles
p. 207 - okonomiyaki 
p. 224 - persimmons and Japanese tea-cakes
p. 233 - hamburgers, potato chips and foot-long dogs
p. 236 - chicken and mashed potatoes

Hope these suggestions make picking a menu item a little bit easier!


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