The Same Moon: a memoir

Charming … a journey through Japanese culture and a journey toward self-understanding, security and faith.

Scott Hewitt, The (Vancouver) Columbian

Release day video — June 18, 2020 — for The Same Moon

The Same Moon in a nutshell

Many of us experience a time in life where we’d like a do-over, and I sure felt that way about my early twenties.

After being briefly wed and quickly divorced by age twenty-four, all I wanted was a fresh start. I abandoned my Minnesota life for a job teaching English in Japan, planning to take a year to reflect, heal and figure out what to do next. 

I ended up the lone English speaker in an isolated rural area, where I was drawn into serving tea to my male co-workers, performing with a koto (zither) group, advocating for female students and colleagues, and embarking on a controversial romance.

Of course I signed on for a second year — not because this was the Japan I was seeking, but because it turned out to be the Japan I needed.

The Same Moon offers a story of encouragement and hope … and a little escape — to 1990s Japan!  

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People are saying …

This is perhaps the only book out there detailing the JET program (Japan English Teaching) from a female point of view. Any prospective JET teacher coming to Japan to teach should read this book.

Books on Asia, Amazon review

Sarah Coomber has written an insightful story about her journey to Japan and a journey to find herself. Readers will enjoy an entertaining and honest account of a young woman’s self-discovery in a foreign land.

Laura Kriska, author of The Accidental Office Lady: An American Woman in Corporate Japan, and cross-cultural consultant

With sensitivity and humility, exploring no one’s story but her own, Coomber addresses the question of this American hour: how to honor—even cherish—fellow humans regardless of divergent cultural, political or spiritual convictions. The Same Moon injects hope into the current American climate of intolerance.

Natalie Kusz, award-winning memoirist and author of Road Song