[Looking for nominations!] Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃

I would like to read this book in the near future, and so I figured I might as well suggest it for the book club :wink:

キッチン

This book actually contains the novel キッチン and the novella ムーンライト・シャドウ. I would only propose the first story here, and we can decide later whether we want to read the second story as well.

Summary

Japanese

キッチン
両親と祖父を早くに亡くし、祖母と暮らしてきた大学生・桜井みかげだが、その祖母さえも亡くしてしまい、天涯孤独の身となる。ある時、同じ大学の学生で、祖母の行きつけの花屋でアルバイトしている田辺雄一に声をかけられ、雄一宅に居候することとなる。雄一はオカマバーを経営する母・えり子(実は父・雄司)と2人暮らしである。みかげは田辺家のキッチンで眠るようになり、風変わりなえり子・雄一親子とも少しずつ打ち解けていく。かつてのボーイフレンドとの再会などを経て、日を追うごとに祖母の死を受け入れ、みかげの心は再生していく。

満月 キッチン2
みかげは休学していた大学をきっぱりやめ、世話になった田辺家からも独立して、有名な料理研究家のアシスタントとして働いていた。そのみかげのもとに雄一から、えり子が店の客に殺害されたと連絡が入る。急いで田辺家に駆けつけたみかげは、そのまま雄一と同居生活に入る。しかし雄一に一方的に思いを寄せている大学生・奥野がみかげが働くキッチンスタジオに押しかけてくるなど、家族でも恋人でもない2人の同居は周囲に理解されることはない。えり子の死から立ち直れずにいる雄一は姿をくらます。伊豆へ出張していたみかげは、深夜にタクシーを走らせ、ちかちゃんにもらった雄一の居場所が書いてあるメモを頼りに、彼に出来たてのカツ丼を届けようとする。

English

In Kitchen, a young Japanese woman named Mikage Sakurai struggles to overcome the death of her grandmother. She gradually grows close to one of her grandmother’s friends, Yuichi, from a flower shop and ends up staying with him and his transgender mother, Eriko. During her stay, she develops affection for Yuichi and Eriko, almost becoming part of their family. However, she moves out after six months as she finds a new job as a culinary teacher’s assistant. When she finds that Eriko has passed away, she tries to support Yuichi through the difficult time, and realises that Yuichi is probably in love with her. Reluctant to face her own feelings for him, she goes away to Izu for a work assignment. However, after going to a restaurant to eat katsudon, she realises she wants to bring it to Yuichi.

In Moonlight Shadow, a woman named Satsuki loses her boyfriend Hitoshi in an accident and tells us: “The night he died my soul went away to some other place and I couldn’t bring it back”. She becomes friendly with his brother Hiiragi, whose girlfriend died in the same crash. On one insomniac night out walking she meets a strange woman called Urara who has also lost someone. Urara introduces her to the mystical experience of The Weaver Festival Phenomenon, which she hopes will cauterize their collective grief.

Availability

amazon.co.jp
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

I would like to start to move towards reading “literature” (as opposed to children’s books or pulp). With this book, the author won two newcomer’s awards, so I’m convinced her writing will fulfil my expectations :wink:

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • The main story is only 140 pages, so it’s a quick read (maybe we can even squeeze it in between the end of Konbini and the end of Haruhi?).
  • In case we plan to tackle it later: The second story is about half as long as the first one.
  • Won two newcomer’s awards and received a bunch of favorable reviews
  • Was turned into a movie twice (for those who like different media)
  • Almost no furigana

Cons

  • Judging from the summary, the story might have its sad moments, so it’s maybe not to everybody’s liking.
  • Not on FloFlo
  • Almost no furigana

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages


Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

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