After I finished the memoir of Haruki Murakami “What I Talk about When I Talk about running“ yesterday . I’ve decided that it’s finally the time to write down a post about me and my obsession to the Japanese literature.. so LET’S GO!!!
First thing first. Before we talk about the books that I’ve read from J-literature (sounds like J-Pop :p ) let’s go back to the old days when I first opened the doors to the Asiatics world and I get VERY impressed with it.
It all starts when I was (and still) a big fan of the anime detective Conan .After I watched his first movie. I looked up for this word “anime” on the internet and I found that it’s a japanese thing. so I searched again for the location and all others formations about Japan. And at that moment I fall in love with this beautiful/gorgeous/fascinated country.Thus I started learning the Japanese language (that I still ongoing with it) .After a few years from this , my brother showed me a video on YouTube about a group of males who dance and sing. It was SuJu (for those who don’t know what is ‘SuJu’ it’s basically Super Junior a Kpop male group) and yeah that’s how I first meet the K-world (Korean world) and from that point I started my second obsession with Kpop and Kdramas after that.
So that’s my story of me meeting the Asiatics world.
Years after that I begin to be a book lover . every time I see a book in front of me I want to have it and touch/smell it. I literally fall in love with books. One day my Best Brother sent me a picture of books and i saw a unique name it wasn’t an Arabic one nor an European or American. It was a Japanese name ! “Haruki Murakami” that’s what I read. the novel was called “Kafka on the shore”. I forgot about others book and I immediately begin the search of this novel. after I finished it i was totally different from ‘Me before the reads’. That’s why I put Haruki Murakami as my favorite author and I start reading all of his work. Till now I’ve read 6 out of 21 works by him (and still going to read all of them).
Now here is a thing. It’s true that most J-literature (just the ones that I’ve read) are a little bit psychical/emotional/darkish but they too deal with different social problems such as bullying at school,the defining of genders,teenegers suicide and mental health… etc. that’s why I bring with me today a novel that talked in an indirect way about defining of genders.SO LET’S SEE THE REVIEWS!!!!
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
Publication date: April 17th 2006
Publisher: Grove Press
Synopsis: Banana Yoshimoto’s novels have made her a sensation in Japan and all over the world, and Kitchen, the dazzling English-language debut that is still her best-loved book, is an enchantingly original and deeply affecting book about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, the heroine of Kitchen, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, she is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who was once his father), Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale that recalls early Marguerite Duras. Kitchen and its companion story, “Moonlight Shadow,” are elegant tales whose seeming simplicity is the ruse of a writer whose voice echoes in the mind and the soul.
Review: Basically there is two different stories in this novel by Banana Yoshimoto. The first one is called ‘Kitchen’ ,divided into two parts, at the first part Banana tells us about a girl named Mikage. she lost all the members of her family, even her grandmother who was the last one to be passed away.It happens that Yoichi a guy who was very kind to both Mikage and her grandmother (if i have a good memory the grandmother was working at a flower shop and there where she first met Yoichi).So after the grandmother died Yoichi propose to Mikage the idea to live with him and his mother.Now here is the thing the mother of Yoichi isn’t his real mother, she’s HIS FATHER!!! yeah awesome right?. I mean it’s a unique thing to find in a novel, and the cause that lead the father to be Eriko is that feeling who start digging down deep his heart after the death of his wife.but did it over to Mikage and Yoichi who lost his mother?? NO , because Eriko is going to die too and there were both Mikage and Yoichi will be passed by a depression period.But everything will be okay after some days,especially after Mikage goes to a work trip ,and Yoichi goes to a break too way out from Tokyo .Ah I remember there is that girl which is presented as Yoichi’s girlfriend I don’t know what happened to her .Btw there is a movie based on this story with the same name I’d definitely check it out.
The second story called ‘Moonlight Shadow’, it’s about a girl named Yumiko who lost her boyfriend and she’s sad because they didn’t have a well “goodbye” so somehow Yumiko met a women called Urara at a side river(she’s literally MY FAVORITE character). Urara tells Yumiko that she had that connection with the river that’s why she can see ‘something’ but she must come at a specific time and day.That’s what Yumiko dose. she came to the river side at the right time and she found Urara waiting her there. they both waited a few minutes until the dawn’s was close enough to let them see the ‘something’. A haze came in between them and in front of them and at that time Yumiko was watching her boyfriend at the other side of the river waving at her.He told her that the ‘something’ was a caravan of dead people and it happens once in awhile . The brother of her boyfriend named Hiiragi lost his girlfriend too and to satisfied the feeling that he got after the death of his girlfriend he decided to wear her skirt wired right?? but still unique and interesting. But it happens that he had that dream where he saw his girlfriend came to his room and take the skirt from him and then she went away.When he woke up the skirt wasn’t there. cool right??
My Vote: I gave IT 4/5 stars
Title: What I Talk about when I Talk about running
Author: Haruki Murakami
Publication date: July 29th 2008
Synopsis:This revealing memoir covers the four-month preparation of Haruki Murakami for the 2005 New York City Marathon and takes us to places ranging from Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvelous lens of sport emerges a panorama of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back.
By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in running.
Review:The truth is I wanted so badly to have a conversation with Haruki Murakami, especially after I read his work “Kafka on the Shore”. So when I found out that there is this memoir I couldn’t help reading it.I enjoy it so much.It dosent contine only the journey of his workout but also some good advice about writing novels and some new songs name that I’ll definitely look up for .The other good thing is that he makes me want to run and do the marathons too.He didn’t talk only about running but also about cycling and swimming because he participated in a triathlon.I dont know what to say it was a great discussion with Murakami.
My vote:I gave it 4/5 stars
That’s it hope you enjoy my little (not really) post .