(ningen shikkaku – Dazai Osamu)
Ningen Shikkaku is one of the most famous novels in Japan. I have begun reading a novel by Miura Ayako, and Dazai is one of her influences, so I decided to go ahead and read one of his most famous works from Aozora Bunko in parallel.
It’s not a long book, but the language is challenging, and of course it is very grim. Dazai uses very long sentences, and sometimes entire paragraphs are comprised of only one sentence. The long sentences flow surprisingly well once you get used to the style, however if you need to look up too many words, then I think it would be hard not to get lost. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this to someone who isn’t used to reading in Japanese, but since it is in the public domain, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
Continue reading “Japanese Book Review: 人間失格 – 太宰 治”
(chinmoku Endo Shusaku)
A Jesuit priest from Portugal named Rodrigo who came to the Nagasaki area undercover near the beginning of the ban of Christianity in the early 17th century. The book has a heavy tone the whole way through with no moments of comic relief. Although I usually like lighter novels this one was worth reading. As a Christian, I’m interested in knowing how Christianity is perceived in Japan. Japan has a Christian population of only 1 percent, but this book comes up on most lists of post-war literature everyone should read, and Endo Shusaku was even a candidate for the Nobel prize in literature. So, I imagine this book has some influence on what people in Japan think about Christianity and Jesus.
Continue reading “Japanese Book Review: 沈黙 遠藤 周作”