Japanese Literature Challenge 12: State of the Challenge #10

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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 Jun Takami, and the other poem is by Kusatao Makamura.

She has also read Kusamakura by Natsume Sōseki, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, and Kokoro by Natsume Sōseki, although I did not see reviews of the last two books. (How much I would like to know your thoughts on the Murata book, Gretchen!)

Michele of su[shu] has written a review of Hideo Yokoyama’s book, Six Four, a novel I have started at least three times and always abandoned as I was intrigued by the mystery, but found the police bureaucracy so tedious!

She has also read and reviewed The Emissary by Yoko Towada, published outside of the States as The Lost Children of Tokyo.

Akylina of The Literary Sisters has read and reviewed Three Short Stories by Akutagawa and Others. Whenever I see the name Akutagawa, I think of Japan’s literary prize named in memory of him, especially as he is known as the “Father of Japanese short story.”

Sylvie, of Sylvie’s English and French blog, read and reviewed Farewell My Orange by Iwaki Kei. It sounds like an unusual and touching book, reflecting Sylvie’s caring heart when she wrote this sentence: “Written with great warmth, Farewell, My Orange offers optimism in the face of adversity.” It won the Kenzaburo Oe prize.

There is only one week left in March, and so I will write a wrap up post for the Japanese Literature Challenge 12 on Sunday, March 31. I have enjoyed writing a weekly post highlighting what I know has been read and reviewed, but I am certain I have not caught all the posts written or books read for the challenge. Do let me know if I can link to something I have missed.

With the Japanese Literature Challenge coming up to the time that the Man Booker International Prize long list is announced, I find my interests rather divided. I am thinking that next year, the Japanese Literature Challenge 13 will be for only one month: January. What do you think of that? While the duration is shorter, the intensity is more concentrated, and that appeals to me, but I am always interested in suggestions and improvement. Until next Sunday, then, happy reading!

Japanese Literature Challenge 12

Several dear blog friends have inquired about hosting another Japanese Literature Challenge, which touches me as it is an interest for which my heart never wants to let go. In the previous eleven years, I have run it from June to January, but now I am beginning with January and ending in March. I think we should have at least three months in which to indulge this passion, especially as I believe that Frances and I spoke of reading The Pillow Book in February.

There will be give-aways during the challenge, which I will send internationally. One of them is the advanced reading copy I have of Mishima’s book Star which will be published by New Directions Publishing April 30, 2019. Another is a book I have from nyrb entitled The Gate by Natsume Soseki. I will also give away a copy of The Emissary by Yoko Tawada which recently won the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature. Of course, what would a Japanese Literature Challenge by without Haruki Murakami? I will give away a Vintage Mini copy of his book, Desire, in which the “five weird and wonderful tales collected here each unlock the many-tongued language of desire, whether it takes the form of hunger, lust, sudden infatuation or the secret longings of the heart.” (back cover)

Since blogging has expanded into other social platforms, let’s use #JLC12 on Twitter or Instagram. And if you’ll leave a comment here, on this post, I will publish a weekly update including the book(s) you read and a link to your post if you wrote one.

So please, join The Reading Life, Graasland, Reading The World, Terri Talks Books, Tredynas Days, and me in this year’s Japanese Literature Challenge 12. I am eager to begin.