"If, as they say, twenty years make a generation, this story began a little more than a generation ago. As for the memorable events of the time, the electoral system had just been revised, and the first election under the new Universal Suffrage Law had taken place in February. Two months after this election, on the fourth of April, 1928, a young woman arrive to teach at a humble village on the Inland Sea a farming and fishing community." Twenty-four Eyes is a novel by Sakae Tsuboi. It was originally published in Japanese in 1952 as Nijushi no Hitomi. Tsuboi was born on an island in the Seto inland sea but moved to Tokyo in 1925 when she married poet Shigeji Tsuboi. I was eager to read this book because I had seen the movie a few years ago when I was preparing to move to Japan. The story starts in pre-World War 2 Japan and centers around a certain Miss Oishi. She has to ride her bicycle to an isolated cape on the island of Shodoshima to teach at a village school. At first, the villagers are wary of her unconventional and modern ways (including wearing a hand-sewn suit and riding a bicycle) but they gradually warm to her. The story then traces her separation and reunions with her first grade students over the years, particularly during and after World War 2. At times, Tsuboi's writing appears overly sentimental, glorifying the bucolic countryside life and the effect a teacher has on her students. However, it is equally critical of attitudes to gender in traditional Japanese society and is also a powerful statement of the writer's pacifist views.