Category Archives: Japanese Literature

The Tumor with a Human Face

Junichiro_Tanizaki_1913
Tanizaki Jun’ichiro (~1913)

Tanizaki Jun’ichiro

1918

This short story (only a few pages) by Japanese author Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, has a creepy atmosphere that makes you not able to put it down.

It’s about a Japanese woman who’s an actress in America and Japan. She hears rumors about a movie, The Tumor with a Human Face, that she’s in. The thing is that she doesn’t remember acting in that movie.

Hearing more and more about this movie, she realizes that it would be impossible to not remember being in the movie.

She goes to someone who works in the movie company that she is in and asks him about it. He then tells her about a curse on the film that makes someone go mad if they watch the film alone.

It’s a creepy story which I recommend to anyone who wants to read something short.

My Rating:

5

Be With You

Be With You

Title in original language:

今、会いにゆきます (Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu)

Takuji Ichikawa

2003 (Japan)

This book is sort of an autobiography of the author who took different experiences of his life and put it together in a fictional story. It’s an amazing book and I recommend it to anyone!

Originally published in Japan (the year listed above is the year of the English translation I read), the book was so popular that a television series, film, and manga were produced.

I again admit that I only picked it up because it was Japanese (I love having a collection of Japanese books) and I’m so glad that I did.

It’s about a woman, Mio, who passes away, leaving her husband, Takkun, and 6 year old son, Yuji, behind.

principal-takuji-ichikawa_grande

Before she passes, she tells her husband that she’d come back in the rainy season to see how they are doing without her and one year later, this becomes true when she comes back from the grave.

This is such a touching story of a second chance at happiness and I wasn’t able to put it down.

It’s an easy read and like I said before I was able to get through it quickly. Takkun and Yuji were very quirky and cute which made me love them immediately and the same for Mio too.

The only tiny little thing that was a problem was with the dialogue. Sometimes there wasn’t anyone listed as the speaker so it was hard to tell who was saying what. It wasn’t bad though so don’t expect it to cause too much trouble.

Overall, it was an amazing book. I loved everything about it and I recommend it to anyone!

My rating:

5!

OUT

OUT

Title in original language:

アウト (Auto)

Natsuo Kirino

1997 (Japan)

This crime novel is one of the best books I’ve read. I’m going to be honest and say that I picked it up just because it was by a Japanese author, but it turned out great!

It took me a long time to read it, but that was only because I had such a hectic schedule this semester, but I finally finished it.

The story is about a Japanese woman who, finally fed up with her husband, murders him by strangling him.

Asking some of her friends for help, they come together to dispose of the body. The plot goes on to describe the wears that this has on each of the women and their friendship, especially in trying to keep this secret.

The good aspects of this book is the detail with descriptions. It’s amazing how much detail was put into each character and what they go through.

This can also be a bad aspect because some people don’t like so much description, but it’s something that I love in books so it’s something I wouldn’t notice.

One thing to watch out for is the gory descriptions. She definitely goes into detail with that so fair warning to be careful of it when you’re reading and if that’s not you’re thing. It’s brief and only happens a couple times (it’s not the main focus of the book) so it’s easy to skip over or just skim it if it makes you queasy.

For me though, this book was definitely a page turner (especially at the end!) and kept me coming back to it. It’s something I definitely recommend to anyone!

My Rating (out of 5):

5