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Japanese Lit Challenge II Wrap-Up

January 31, 2009

japaneseBack to doing challenge wrap-ups, like I used to! :) I approached the second round of the Japanese Literature challenge in an, um, interesting way. I signed up for it, was all excited, and then promptly forgot about it until this month!! So there was a little bit of scrambling involved, but it was worth it. :D

For this one, we had to read at least three books; I ended up reading four. Two were my original choices, one was by the same author I originally chose but a different title, and one wasn’t on the original list. (Click through for my reviews except for the last one, which I just finished, so I still need to write the review!)
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
Tales of Moonlight and Rainby Akinari Ueda
Snow Countryby Yaunari Kawabata

The best book: Kitchenby Banana Yoshimoto
Any new authors?All of them! I read a Nobel-prize winner (Yaunari Kawabata) too. I’ll definitely be reading more Yoshimoto and Mishima
Books I did not finish: The copy of Snow Country that I read also included his novel A Thousand Cranes. I didn’t read the second novel, although I don’t think it counts as a DNF!
What did I learn from this challenge? Well, before the challenge my only experience with Japanese lit was Murakami (and Ishiguro, but everyone says he doesn’t count!), so I liked broadening my horizons. It’s interesting, because while all of these books have very different subjects, and are from different time periods, they all had a certain *feel* in common. I liked that feel, so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more Japanese authors in the future. And I loved Kitchen to death!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2009 7:27 pm

    Congrats on completing the challenge!

  2. January 31, 2009 8:41 pm

    Congratulations on getting it finished up! I hope; you’re feeling better!


  3. February 1, 2009 12:27 am

    Congratulations! And it’s good to hear you loved your reads..

  4. February 1, 2009 4:56 am

    Kitchen is on our shelves and has been on my tbr forever!

  5. February 1, 2009 8:05 am

    Congrats, Eva!

    And here we see a major difference between the two of us. You sign up for this challenge, forget about it, remember at the last minute, and still manage to finish. Me…I sign up for this challenge, stew about it the whole time because I’m so intimidated, and end up not reading a single book. I’m hopeless.

  6. February 2, 2009 11:24 am

    Bermuda Onion, thanks!

    Lezlie, thank you!

    Claire, thanks!

    Susan, you should definitely read Kitchen!

    Debi, here’s another major difference between us: you homeschool, run a household, raise kids, have pets, and have a husband. Me? I’ve got books. :)

  7. February 2, 2009 3:21 pm

    Eva, I’m so impressed that you did the challenge all in one month! And, four books instead of three! I really liked Kitchen as well, and I read Tales of Moonlight and Rain the first time I hosted the challenge. There is just a plethora of Japanese literature, 90% of which I’m not so familiar with. This time round, I read Ryu Murakami and Miyuke Miyabe: two fabulous authors. But, I still want to read all of Haruki Murakami’s work. Someday, maybe. Thanks so much for participating, and writing such a great post about your experience.

  8. February 2, 2009 6:02 pm

    Speaking of Roots. I read it 1978. It was my last year of middle school. We read it just before the mini-series aired. Of course, at the time I had no idea the significance of the work or how it would impact American culture.

    Hope you get to it soon.

  9. February 4, 2009 11:51 am

    Congrats on finishing your challenge! Wasn’t Kitchen great? I read it for the Japanese Challenge too. I have read another book by Banana Yoshimoto which I recommend, NP. I liked Kitchen better but that one was good too.

  10. February 5, 2009 3:21 pm

    Great job on the challenge. I love Japanese Literature. What I have read of it at least. I hope there will be a Japanese Literature Challenge III. I will definately be joining that one!

  11. February 6, 2009 3:25 am

    Bellezza, thanks! I’m lucky that Japanese books (the ones I pick at least) tend to eb on the shorter side. ;) I haven’t heard of Ryu Murakami or Miyuke Miyabe, but they sound great. :)

    Susan, I want to read Roots this month!

    Iliana, thanks-Kitchen was definitely great!

    Michelle, thanks! I hope there’s a third Japanese lit challenge too. :)


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