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 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!

9 thoughts on “Japanese Literature Challenge 12: State of the Challenge #10”

  1. Bellezza, I am still reading my book for this challenge, so I may miss the posting deadline. That’s okay though. I am thoroughly enjoying my book. Over the last few months, I have seen some wonderful Japanese movies, including Every Day a Good Day, Shoplifters, Sweet Bean, and Departures. (And lately I have been watching episodes of Marie Kondo’s lovely Netflix series.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I meant to see Shoplifters with the hubs and friends but I was ill! Would love to read what you think — Kore-eda is my favourite film director 🙂


  2. Films are a wonderdul way to participate! I love Marie Kondo, I love simplicity, and I have heard great things about Sweet Bean Paste. I will look for the films you mentioned, and now worries about finishing the book or not. Just enjoy it! xo


  3. How about a compromise and make it 2 months? Though I can relate to your remark about focus, I feel I need a bit more time than a month to be flexible. January is so… hectic? chaotic? and I probably won’t be ready to neatly start a new book right at the beginning of the new year. Just my two cents 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I posted this comment last week some time but it didn’t seem to go through, so I kept a copy. Here goes again:
    Ah, I finally reviewed The Pillow Book 🙂 It’s great to see that the posts are still flowing in, and I’ll check some of them out now. I think the idea of keeping it to January next year is a good one! The Man Booker longlist must involve a lot of reading and reviewing, so it makes sense not to have it overlap. And a shorter period of more intensity sounds good to me. Thanks for organising this event—I really enjoyed both of the books I read, as well as reading other people’s reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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