A fox and a racoon in Japanese-language and English-language picture books 

Fact finding 

Hello minna san,  

Let’s resume our research activities. As I mentioned in the previous entry, starting research with a vague idea is not a good approach to writing. To produce quality writing, one must refine the idea until it shines. One effective method is to validate all my observations through actual browsing, reading, and documentation. 

My initial step was to visit our local municipal library and spend time there in the hope of gaining a deeper understanding of picture books featuring foxes and raccoons. I conducted searches for these books both through OPAC, the library’s search system, and manually by browsing through the collection. Here is what I discovered from the OPAC search: 

Some limitations 

The topic turned out to be broader than I initially anticipated. When you enter “fox” or “raccoon” into the OPAC search at the library, you’ll discover encyclopedias, works intended for adult readers, works tailored for middle-grade readers and young adults. Furthermore, the Japanese search results revealed that foxes and raccoons are often portrayed as characters in Japanese ghost stories like “Kachi Kachi Yama,” which is a distinct genre from the English counterparts. 

In summary, I require some defined boundaries within which I can operate as a researcher. These boundaries will be instrumental when I reach the stage of selecting a theoretical framework. 

Research choices 

My topic revolves around picture books, so I must consider the specific type of picture books I intend to explore. They could be non-fiction or fiction, authored by particular writers or centered around specific themes. However, I require a rational basis for selecting my research materials. I’ve initially categorized my first selections on Instagram, but this represents only the preliminary screening. 


Read around 

Although direct investigation provides valuable insights, it’s always advantageous to explore related topics to refine one’s thoughts. I’ve already selected a few theoretical works, most of which are quite general in nature. Now, I aim to delve into materials more closely related to the topic. For instance, I’m interested in exploring the most iconic fox characters in English-language picture books or examining the contemporary portrayal of foxes in these books. 

So much to do so little time.  

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