Browsing through this list of 50 books that high school students should read from Shinchosha, I picked this book because I thought the cover looked interesting. It turned out to be about high school students walking for 24 hours straight as a school tradition at the end of each year. There are three years of high school in Japan, so they do it three times during their career. The story switches back and forth between the perspective of a half brother and sister who by a bad coincidence ended up in the same class for their last year in high school. They have never spoken to each other despite being in the same class, and they have kept it a secret from all of their friends.
This mystery novel is set in an isolated research center on a privately owned island. A murder occurs in the sub-basement of a building with no windows, in a sealed room used as a prison cell for one brilliant computer scientist, Dr. Magata, who killed her parents as a child. No one and nothing has gone in or out for 15 years without being closely monitored. The book is at the limit for how creepy I would prefer, but the focus is mostly on solving how the event occurred and a bit about the relationship between Professor Saikawa and college freshman Moe.
This is a collections of four stories and is part of a series of books about Prefecture D Police, so I expected all of the stores to be about the police force, but it turns out only the first story, which gives the book its name, has anything to do with police.
(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.
A “gang” of four bank robbers pride themselves on robbing banks in the correct way. They have rationalized to themselves that they aren’t harming anyone, which is ridiculous, but makes a good stage for an interesting plot. This was a lot of fun to read and moves very fast.
This story centers around Tsukuda, who reluctantly takes over his father’s small engine business after failing as a rocket engine researcher. However, he keeps his dream alive pouring the company’s money into a rocket related side project and re-applying the results to small engines. When a large corporation needs Tsukuda’s technology to compete globally in the commercial rocket industry things get complicated.