Among Japanese learning material aimed at foreigners, this book is definitely one of the better ones. The book contains eight essays by (relatively) popular authors, such as Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto and Yoko Ogawa.
I picked up this little book because I wanted to get back into reading Japanese. I was mostly pulled towards this particular book because they are (supposed to be) short stories by Ōgai Mori and I quite appreciate reading actual literature.
Without spoiling too much: this book simultaneously takes place in the US, Japan and the Congo. We’ve got the US President and those directly surrounding him. We’ve got four mercenaries sent on a mission. We’ve got children born with a deathly illness. We’ve got a Japanese student whose father just …
Two years ago for January in Japan we already read The Briefcase (also known as Strange Weather in Tokyo) by Hiromi Kawakami. I really enjoyed that book! So I was hopeful I’d feel the same about Manazuru… Alas.
Let me begin by saying that I absolutely love it when books do ‘the Thing’. “The Thing”, you ask? Yes, the Thing. That Thing where authors skilfully weave together different narratives.