Author: Inhae

Book review: 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』by Sachiko Kashiwaba

Introduction Title: 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』 (きりのむこうのふしぎなまち)Author: Sachiko Kashiwaba (柏葉幸子)Illustrations: Hiromi Sugita 杉田比呂美Published by 講談社 in the collection 青い鳥文庫.210 pages Aoitori is a collection of books for children. This book has complete furigana and targets primary school readers: 小学中級から. A lot of kanji words are written in hiragana only, the font is rather big, and there is a lot of space between the lines. 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』 inspired Hayao Miyazaki who wanted to make a film adaptation of the novel. This project was dropped, but the novel influenced another story: Spirited Away. Review I decided to read 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』 mainly to read something easy in Japanese, but the story was great. The book builds its own world and leaves a strong impression on the reader. In the story, Rina is sent by her father to spend the Summer holidays with someone he knows in a place called 霧の谷. Rina arrives in a strange village, where she will have to find her place, work and make friends. I really loved the atmosphere and the setting of the novel. The characters are interesting, …

Book review: 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 by Osamu Soda

Introduction Title: 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 (ぼくらの なのかかん せんそう)Author: Osamu SODA 宗田理Illustrations: はしもとしんPublished by 角川 in the collection 角川つばさ文庫390 pages First published in 1985, 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 is the first novel of the series ぼくら. I am not completely sure, but I think that the series follows the same characters over the years, as they grow up. In 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』, the protagonist Eiji and his classmates are in first year of middle school. We apparently follow them through their middle school and high school years in the series (see Wikipedia). Tsubasa is a collection of children’s books. 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 is targeting primary school readers: 小学上級から. The book has complete furigana and there is a note at the end mentioning that it was partially rewritten to make it easier to read. 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』 was adapted into film in 1988. Last year (2019), a modern anime adaptation was released under the title 『ぼくらの7日間戦争』 (note the change in the title from 七 to 7). Review When I read children’s books in Japanese, I usually get bored very soon, but I loved 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』. I was genuinely interested in the story, …

Book review: 『錦繡』by Teru Miyamoto

Introduction Title: 『錦繡』(きんしゅう)Author: Teru MIYAMOTO 宮本輝Published by 新潮文庫270 pages First published in 1982, 『錦繡』is certainly one of Teru Miyamoto’s most popular novels. It was translated into English by Roger K. Thomas under the title Kinshu: Autumn Brocade, and into French, Le Brocart, by Maria Grey. Review 『錦繡』 is an epistolary novel (only composed of letters). Aki and Yasuaki were once a married couple. They meet by chance, ten years after their divorce and start to exchange letters. 『錦繡』belongs to these books that I loved so much, it is difficult to talk about them. Apart from “you must read it”, I don’t seem to find anything to say. I cannot remember the last time a novel affected me so much. I kept thinking about the story and the characters even when I was not reading the book. I identified easily with the characters, and I was emotionally involved in the story right from the beginning. Some letters were so full of emotions, it often took me a while to go back to my real life after I had …