February 01, 2019

Book Review Love and other stories by Yokomitsu Riichi

A collection of eleven short stories written by Yokomitsu Riichi who has been described as an experimental modernist writer. 

Stand out stories include The Smile, After Picking up a Blue Stone, The Carriage, The Defeated Husband, The Pale Captain and The Machine.

He explores a range of topics including collecting debts after his father dies in Korea, caring for his wife who has tuberculosis, relationships between man and wife and working in a small family run business. 

Some very powerful stories that will leave a deep impression of life and times in Japan before, during and after the war.

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December 01, 2018

Book Review Geisha in Rivalry by Kafu Nagai


Kafu Nagai 

Translated by: 

Kurt Meissner


Charles Tuttle Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, 1963





This is a very interesting novel on a number of levels in terms of historical context and the topic which reveals the inner workings of a geisha house. 

Probably the most important learning from this novel is the insights gained about the relationship between a business and its customer.

The flexibility required, the hiding of ones own feelings, the servitude, the focus and the importance of appearance, speed and detail in very small things. 

Overall we see the great lengths Japanese culture goes to meet customer needs. 

We learn the historical aspects of the region of Tokyo where the novel is set, Shimbashi. 

As a reader we are blessed to capture the feel of the period from the clothing, food and lifestyle, all the way down to the wood of the local bath house.
A fascinating novel, that is light fun and intriguing.

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