Last year Barry Duell published a book that he wrote in Japanese. This year he is putting it out in English. Its title indicates its unusual content: "The Other Potato: Sweet Potato in the U.S.A." Duell said that when he was considering the book he found few sources of information. "The biggest source was cookbooks. They deal with only cooking. There are technical books, aimed at the researcher. But there was a gap in good, broad information for the average person." Duell set himself the task of filling the gap.

As an aficionado of the sweet potato, and as a teacher, he is the ideal person to make his subject better known. It is his mission. He has been zealous since his Sophia University days, when in his work on cultural anthropology he chose, he said, "the sweet potato as something to focus on for my master's thesis."

Before getting so far as Japan and Sophia University, Duell had belonged to Oregon. The eldest son of a chemistry professor, Duell said that he, too, had set his heart on being a chemist. "Then I toyed with the idea of running a restaurant or a bakery. Liberal arts opened my eyes to many other ventures, and I took my degree in natural science. Before I graduated, I came here for one semester of Japanese studies."