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AbstractEducation for sustainable development (ESD) is now being promoted and implemented at every level of education by the United Nations. The purpose of ESD is to nurture young minds to be conscious of the need to take measures for building a sustainable relation between society and the environment. I believe works of literature such as novels and poems are good materials for use in ESD, because the social and individual problems depicted in stories can be similar to ones encountered in real life, enabling deep sympathy on the part of readers. Literature scholars can select stories from various periods and places that feature certain social problems and use them as materials for ESD. In this paper, I use American author Pearl Buck's The Big Wave and Command the Morning to help students think about the issues of natural disasters and of the use of nuclear power. These have become significant and identifiable issues for Japanese citizens since the events of March 2011. To shed light on these issues through Buck's eyes, I propose tentative teaching plans and materials in this study.