Adventures in Reading

Japanese Literature Anyone?
February 1, 2008, 4:23 pm
Filed under: fiction, thoughtful

arl986japan-posters.jpgBack in November I mentioned that I was looking into becoming involved with my local literacy group. Between moving and confusing times and dates in my head, I will finally be attending a meeting this Monday. I am beyond excited and one of these reasons is because we will be discussing our One Book, One Community pick. For those of you who are not aware of this program various cities across the United States select one book for the entire community to read and gather to discuss. I think it is a terrific idea and I now I have the chance to voice some recommendations.

To tie in with some other community events, it has already been decided that our theme is going to be Japanese. The cultural center in the area is also having a Japanese theme in 2009 and will be having a kimono display as well as playing Japanese music. I will admit the only Japanese authors that I could think of were Haruki Murakami and the author of Rashomon (Ak—- something or other, right?).

Now the problem with coming up with a selection is that the book needs to be age appropriate from 14 to 90 and I was told that Snow Falling On Cedars was already rejected as a result of questionable content. (Which seems to be an immediate strike out for Rashomon.) I also learned that the organization is pushing for a book that is about a Japanese and American relationship. The book, as far as I know, can be either fiction or non-fiction, but the area I live in is fairly conservative politically, socially, and religiously so any of my more exciting thoughts of a haiku collection or Lone Wolf and Cub manga series – while I will present these ideas at the meeting – will probably be rejected.

After some brief searching I also came across a few more titles and authors including: Cynthia Kadohata’s kira-kira, Yu Taniguchi’s Ocean in the Closet, and R.A. Sasaki’s The Loom & Other Stories. The meeting is Monday so I am going to spend the weekend researching, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


What about Obasan, by Joy Kowaga? It’s Canadian, not American, but otherwise may fit your bill. It’s age-appropriate, anyway; lots of Canadian students read it in high school.

Comment by Christine

Christine: I will definitely have to take a look at it. Thank you for the suggestion.

Comment by bookchronicle

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