Thursday, November 24, 2011

'Kokoro' by Natsume Sōseki (JLit Book Group)

Kokoro by Natsume Sōseki
Original title: こころ (kokoro)
Translated from the Japanese by Meredith McKinney
Fiction, Published in Japan in 1914
(new English translation, 2010)
Penguin Classics, 234 p.
No collection of Japanese literature is complete without Natsume Soseki's Kokoro, his most famous novel and the last he completed before his death. Published here in the first new translation in more than fifty years, Kokoro--meaning "heart"-is the story of a subtle and poignant friendship between two unnamed characters, a young man and an enigmatic elder whom he calls "Sensei".

Haunted by tragic secrets that have cast a long shadow over his life, Sensei slowly opens up to his young disciple, confessing indiscretions from his own student days that have left him reeling with guilt, and revealing, in the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between his moral anguish and his student's struggle to understand it, the profound cultural shift from one generation to the next that characterized Japan in the early twentieth century.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Salon: Is there such a thing as too much hype? ( + giveaways old and new)

So like many people, I'm currently reading Haruki Murakami's latest book to appear in English translation, 1Q84. After waiting about two and a half years since Book One and Two were published in Japan in May 2009 (and Book Three which followed in April 2010), at last all three Books were released in English translation late last month.

Murakami fans all over the world were impatiently waiting and there was some serious hype in the lead-up to the publication date. Quite impressive for a book in translation, there were some stores that even had midnight openings to cope with the demand! And it's very long story too at around 1000 pages between the three books.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Hello Japan! mini-challenge: September and October links

Hello Japan!

The Hello Japan! mini-challenge for September and October was When One Isn't Enough, a double dose, and the task was to compare two works or other elements of Japanese literature, culture, or entertainment.. Thank you to the two of you who took part... twice each! Click on the links below to read their posts.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hello Japan! November mini-challenge: Five Favourites

Hello Japan!
Hello Japan! is a monthly mini-challenge focusing on Japanese literature and culture. Each month there is a new task which relates to some aspect of life in Japan. Anyone is welcome to join in any time. Everyone who completes the task will then be included in the drawing for that month's prize. For more information, just click on the Hello Japan! button above.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

There's just something about Kyoto...

Kyoto Gosho
Kyoto Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace)
I can't believe it's November already! My apologies for disappearing yet again. These last couple of months have just completely slipped away from me! Sick for most of September plus a trip to Canada, and more recently a few days in Kyoto. Plus we're also in the midst of preparations, and the oh-so-fun bureaucracy involved with a big international move. It really has been a busy time but I feel bad that the blog has been so dormant lately. Sigh.