Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

InWindows for the Crown Prince: An American Woman’s Four Years as Private Tutor to the Crown Prince of Japan, using an almost diary-like format, Elizabeth Gray Vining shares the events of her assignment as tutor to Crown Prince Akihito. Told chronologically, for the most part, the thirty-seven chapters focus on especially significant events, such as Vining’s arrival and her first meeting with the royal family and with General Douglas MacArthur; accounts, at various stages, of her tutorial duties with the crown prince, his classmates at the peers school (Gakushuin) and its counterpart for girls, the Joshi Gakushuin, and other members of the imperial family; celebrations, customs, and other special events and outings; and her farewell and departure. In the center of the book is a section of nineteen photographs of people, places, and events of special interest.

Throughout the book, Vining uses an approach analogous to the use of a telescopic lens, alternating close-up views with panoramic scans. In some sections, the reader receives overall impressions of the land, the people, and the daily life and routine of the royal family and the school involved in the education of the crown prince. In other sections, there is a narrower focus on specific events in the classroom, holidays, vacation trips, and social events or visits and on profiles of various people, especially royal family members, describing personality and character traits.


(The entire section is 494 words.)