The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, for the Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and the Booker International Prize 2020

The first duty of the Memory Police was to enforce the disappearances. (p. 14) How ironic that the very next book I pick up after The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree should also be about terror. Force. Loss. Things disappear, like emeralds and perfume bottles, ferry boats and families. People who are able to still… Continue reading The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, for the Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and the Booker International Prize 2020

The Dancing Girl of Izu by Yasunari Kawabata (Japanese Literature Challenge 13)

On the road, a traveling companion; and in the world, kindness. ~an old Japanese saying I first heard of this short story from Masa, our travel guide, when I was visiting the Izu Peninsula in Japan two years ago. He asked if I had ever read it, as it was one of his favorites, but… Continue reading The Dancing Girl of Izu by Yasunari Kawabata (Japanese Literature Challenge 13)

The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda (a most excellent beginning to the Japanese Literature Challenge 13)

I can’t help feeling there’s something inexplicable about this crime. I don’t know how to express it precisely, but there’s something incoherent or indefinable about it, something the human mind isn’t equipped to engage with. (p. 63) How I love an intriguing mystery, a well written, well developed story that has not been manipulated for… Continue reading The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda (a most excellent beginning to the Japanese Literature Challenge 13)

It’s time to begin thinking about the Japanese Literature Challenge 13

One of the greatest joys of blogging, for me, is the opportunity to share Japanese literature with one another. Judging by the inquiries I begin receiving in November and December, it appears that many bloggers who remember it, as well as some who have heard of it, are also eager to begin again. The idea… Continue reading It’s time to begin thinking about the Japanese Literature Challenge 13

Sunday Salon: a Japanese literature treasure trove edition

I have been waiting for the mailman most impatiently this week. Finally, yesterday, he delivered all that I’ve been anticipating (except Samantha, the tabby). First, there is The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita. With over one million copies sold, it is the winner of the Japan Booksellers’ Award, “selected by bookshop staff… Continue reading Sunday Salon: a Japanese literature treasure trove edition

Japanese Literature Challenge 12: State of the Challenge #10

Gretchen of Gladsome Lights has written a beautiful post entitled Four Sad Poems from the Japanese, taken from a collection of One Hundred Poems From the Japanese, gathered and edited by Kenneth Rexroth in 1964. Here is another post of hers highlighting two poems. One is entitled At The Boundaries of Life and Death by… Continue reading Japanese Literature Challenge 12: State of the Challenge #10