I read an article by Roger Pulvers on Nippon.com about Miyazawa Kenji, and became interested in reading ame ni mo makezu, which is available in public domain on Aozora Bunko. I included the original text here:
雨ニモマケズ – 宮沢賢治
According to the Wikipedia article about the poem, it was never published in Miyazawa’s lifetime, but was found after his death, as many of his works were, so I’m not sure if it was intended for an audience or not. I especially think it may not have been his intention to publish this because the poem is about his desire to be a humble servant. The desire to serve people without recognition seems to be more of a self reflection than something a poet would intend to publish.
Continue reading “Thoughts on 雨ニモマケズ by 宮沢賢治”
(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”
(miyamoto musashi – Yoshikawa Eiji)
I picked up this book more than a decade ago, and I have tried reading it two or three times since then. Each time I couldn’t make it through the first chapter before giving up. It’s actually an epic novel and this is just the first of 8 books in this reprint. I finally read through the one book I own. The first book is a fictional account of the historical famous swordsman’s life starting at age 17 after the battle of Sekigahara to the point when he is a young man trying to find a worthy opponent to practice his mostly self taught martial art.
Continue reading “Japanese Book Review: 宮本武蔵 – 吉川英治”