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When Loretta Shaw was forced to leave Japan under the shadow of World War II in 1939, she left a 1908 copy of Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables with her good friend Hanako Muraoka, a writer and translator who had been educated at the Canadian Mission Sczhool in Tokyo. In spite of the dangers of possessing Western literature in war-time Japan, Muraoka kept and secretly translated the novel, even taking it with her into the bomb shelter during air raids.


In the years following World War II, when the cultural climate was more receptive and Japanese education officials sought "wholesome" Western literature for the Japanese school curriculum, Muraoka came forward with her translation: Akage No An (Anne of the Red Hair).


The much-loved story has been required reading in Japanese schools and a best-seller since 1952.