By Maxwell Okamafo Addo
The Wife of the Vice-President, Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, has stressed the need for literary works to be celebrated and patronized so as to impart knowledge,
The Second Lady who is a professional Liberian, made this remarks on Wednesday June 28, when she launched a book titled, Chocolate and the Blue Sky at the British council Hall in Accra.
The Second lady, described the book as a must read book, Chocolate and the Blue Sky, a narrative of experiences between Japanese and Ghanaian cultural experiences, from a Japanese point of view.
Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, who is a friend to the translator, Kyoko, contributed in diverse ways to make the book a success. She described the book as a must read, and encouraged students to get copies and read so that they broaden their knowledge and also learn about other cultures.
She called on parents to invest in their wards’ education, buy books for them, and use the opportunity to read and learn themselves and launched the book.
The book, Chocolate and the Blue Sky recounts fond memories and experiences that a Japanese family had when they hosted a Ghanaian, Mr. Chris Kog Feruta-Benee. Feruta-Benee was then on a training programme in Japan in 1999.
The book also has a brief remark from President John Mahama, where he disclosed that he lived with Shuji and his family some years ago, and that despite the fact that Japan and Ghana are far apart geographically, the two nations have maintained a productive and enriching relationships.
The book was originally written in Japanese some 15 years ago by the author, Kaoru Horigome, whose young daughter, referred to as Shuji in the book, was close to the Ghanaian and asked many questions so that she could understand the Ghanaian culture.
The author admitted that the time her family spent with the Ghanaian, fondly called Chris-San, meaning Brother Chris, left a lasting impression on her. She learnt to appreciate the importance of taking pride in one’s country, show love for one’s family and be fair to all. The event at the British Council, in Accra, was to launch the English version of the Chocolate and the Blue Sky.
The English translation was done by Kyoko Nikai, the wife of the Japanese ambassador to Ghana. She said she translated the story into English so that both countries can share and understand the different cultures. She said Japan shares a sense of familiarity with Ghana through Chocolate.
Ghana, meaning chocolate bar in Japanese is a household name in Japana, and 70 per cent of cocoa beans imported into Japan comes from Ghana,
hence the title of the book is apt and enlightening.
A copy of the book was sold at the launch at 20 Ghana cedis. Meanwhile, copies are available at the premises of the British council and in books shops at 15 Ghana cedis. The publishers of the book, Smart lime intends to circulate copies of the book across the country. 500 copies would be distributed to 10 selected basic schools in the ten regions of Ghana.