Sunday, May 18, 2008

More on Japan

So, speaking of Japan...

I read the very short novel "In the Miso Soup" or イン ザ・ミソスープIn za Misosūpu (ha ha!) by Japanese novelist Ryu Murakami, not to be confused with Haruki Murakami (who writes equally strange but generally much longer novels). Murakami R has always focussed on the seedier side of Japan, one which the Japanese do not speak of and try not to acknowledge. This one was about a young guide who makes a living guiding gaijin through Tokyo's sex clubs--until he meets an American who may or may not be a serial killer.

The Japan painted here is unrelentingly shallow, full of desperately lonely people who cannot make any kind of connection.

Le plus c'est différent, le plus c'est la meme choses.

ADDITION: Per below--at one point konbon wa was written kombon wa. I don't know whether this was an attempt to capture the nasal hum that is the Japanese final n, or merely a typo, but it seems to show that translating sound from one language to another can be tough.

1 comment:

biibii said...

i didn't think i'd enjoy Ryu at all, his writing seems really dated and shock-value-y to me...but then i read Coin Locker Babies,dude,that book rules. even though it is rather dated...and shock-value-y...it's like a really great action movie...er...book. anyway, i really quite liked it. quite.