Jim Kable's father was killed in a car accident when he was two. He grew up in Tamworth, entered Sydney University with a Teachers College Scholarship and taught in rural NSW (English and History); he later lived in Spain and West Germany, taught TESOL in Sydney and moved eventually to Port Stephens where he had the chance to study and teach Japanese. This led him to Japan for over 16 years where he taught middle school, senior high and university levels besides private classes of professionals. In 2004 he established the Yoshida Shoin International Paedagogical Fellowship which now has over 750 members; the patron was Dr Somphou Oudomvilay, a former Secretary of State for Laos who was forced to flee by the Pathet Lao takeover - initially to Thailand then Australia - where he and Kable were colleagues for a month at Casula High School in early 1979.
Kable comments that his interests were 'switched on to Australian Literature after working virtually alongside a farm where Henry Lawson grew up - at Eurunderee, Mudgee. Then my focus became Australian Literature, representing the broader ethnic and cultural diversity of our nation, and an interest in effective teaching - developed within the folds of the Trial Teacher Development Diploma of Education program I did at Sydney University in 1970 ... Before I returned from Japan in mid-2009 I walked the 88-temple pilgrimage around the island of Shikoku - some 1200 kms. My wife and I met on the first day of our teaching - at Hay War Memorial High School in early February 1971. Sadly no children living. I am deeply interested in my family origins and have travelled widely around the world tracking the threads - links are to many lands - and to Indigenous Australia!' (email from author May 2012).