Do you know what happened in Japan in the 1980s? This book was published in 1981 and became a best seller book in Japan at that time. With the original title 窓 ぎ わ の ト ッ ト ち ゃ ん ( Madogiwa no Totto-chan ). This book is written by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. This novel was published by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama at Kompas Gramedia Building, Block I, Floor 4 – 5 on Jalan Palmerah Barat 29-37. Translated by Widya Kirana, Illustrated by Chihiro Iwasaki and cover by Marcel A.W. This book is sells for 110,000 rupiah and has 271 pages.
Totto-Chan (Girl in the Window) is a book based on the true story of its author, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. A book that tells about Tetsuko Kuroyanagi’s childhood before the Pacific War devastated Japan. The book tells the story of a small Tetsuko Kuroyanagi full of innocence, great curiosity, always wanting to try new things, and full of imagination. This book also discusses Tetsuko Kuroyanagi together, especially Mama and Rocky (her dog). However, the most important thing that the writer wants to tell in this book is about Sosaku Kobayashi or often called Mr. Kobayashi, Headmaster of the train school.
Totto-Chan was the name of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi when she was a child. Totto-Chan, When he was child, he often changed schools. Not because she is not smart, it’s just that she has a great curiosity and will not stop until his curiosity is fulfilled. Like when she stood by the window, waiting for a young woman to walk becauses he was very happy, even though the lesson continued.
This book begins when the mother of Totto-chan learns that her daughter was expelled from a public school. Totto-chan’s mother realized that Totto-chan needed a school that did not limit freedom of expression. She then invited Totto-chan to meet the principal at the new school, Mr. Kobayashi. From then on, friendships formed between the principal and his students. After searching, Mom finally found a new school for Totto-Chan. A school that is far different from other elementary schools in Japan at that time. The school whose building is a train cars that are not used. In fact, if the school pillars are usually made of iron and concrete, then these school pillars are two living tree trunks. That made Totto-Chan feel very interested and wanted to go to school there immediately.
If in other schools, the lessons they will teach have been programmed and arranged, then in Tomoe the children choose the lessons they want to get themselves, on every meeting. This is in accordance with the request of Mr. Kobayashi to prepare his students so that they can become experts in certain fields of science later and can see the talent in themselves by giving them the opportunity to choose the lessons they want to produce as young children. It does not need to be agreed to follow all the lessons that have been held all day that lessons they might not like.
From all the special treatments Mr. Kobayashi gives and teaches all his students in Tomoe, especially Totto-chan is the phrase “You are a very good child. You know that, right? ” the principal always says when he meet Totto-Chan. Adult Totto-Chan realized how important that sentence was to his life and how he wanted Mr. Kobayashi to embed those words in Totto-Chan.
As a child, especially in her old school, Totto-Chan was often labeled as a bad kid due to all her behavior which caused many problems for him or bothered others. When in fact she was only a child with a great curiosity and she would do various things to satisfy his curiosity, so it was not uncommon to get her into trouble, making judgments people assume that she was a bad boy. Therefore. Mr. Kobayashi wanted to emphasize to Totto-Chan that she was actually a good kid. She thought, if she did not go to school in Tomoe and meet with Mr. Kobayashi might grow up without confidence, suffer from mental disorders, and be confused.
This is the first book that uses the perspective of a child that I have ever read. So simple that it doesn’t take long to complete. I think Tetsuko Kuroyanagi is doing a great job. She is able to describe all the paradigms of children who are full of imagination. Many very special messages are shown for adults to better understand young children. Even though adults have full power over young children, it would be great to try to be a good adult and not judge rightly wrong what children do. With the right understanding, the nation’s next generation will be able to develop properly. Only if we, adults, want to spend a little time learning how children act and what they think.