Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hello Japan! mini-challenge: August & September link round-up

Hello Japan!

Thank you to everyone who took part in the two-month double Hello Japan! mini-challenge for August and September. August & September's Hello Japan! task was to compare two works, or other elements, of Japanese literature, culture, or entertainment.
Here's what you came up with:

Violet of Still Life with Books compared the short story, Tony Takitani, by Haruki Murakami, and the film based on the story.
The film is faithful to the story, and is lovely to look at, being all muted tones of grey and brown; still, quiet, beautifully shot.

Novroz of Novroz' Favorite Things did a triple comparison. She talked about Ringu, the original book, the Japanese film adaptation and the later American movie remake.
Reading the book and watching the movie is like enjoying 2 different stories with the same outline.
As for the American remake, well...

JoV of Bibliojunkie compared two Mishima novels, After the Banquet and The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea.
I learnt a lot about the Japanese culture in After the Banquet, but I learnt more about the Japanese psyche in The Sailor.

Teresa compared Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore with his earlier novel Dance Dance Dance in terms of the humour, the common themes the two books share, the presence or lack thereof of cats and spaghetti, and of Murakami's writing.
The writing is, as usual for Murakami, 'simple' but beautiful and it can hit you hard, as it did for me at the end of Chapter 31 in "Kafka," as it switched, so effectively, to the 2nd person. The feeling I get from that kind of writing is why I read.
If you haven't already scroll down to the comments section to read her thoughts in full.

dhitZunako of across dhitz universe talked about two film versions of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shojo), an earlier live-action film and a more recent anime version.
The 1983 version highlighted the theme of “Love that travels time”, while 2006 version is more like “What will you do if you have the power to leap through time?”

Mee of Bookie Mee talked about the difference in style of the two directors of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.
While Miyazaki generally uses the Wow factor, Takahata painstakingly goes for realism. I see Miyazaki as the highly imaginative popular kid, always surrounded by many other kids on the playground, while Takahata as the serious and more reserved kid, working hard at the craft that he believes in among the lesser crowds.

Thanks again, everyone! There was a nice variety of comparisons and they were all well thought out and fascinating to read.

The prize for this mini-challenge was one Japanese literature book of choice (up to a $15 value). With a little help from, the winner is...
Congratulations! I'll be in touch soon for your book choice.

Also, if you haven't seen it yet, the Hello Japan! October mini-challenge is already up.

Enjoy your Japanese spooky stories!

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  1. I must get back to The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. It's on my desk to be continued!

    Book Bird Dog

  2. Congrats to Violet! Please let us know what book you chose?


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