HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
Loading...

Strange Weather in Tokyo (2001)

by Hiromi Kawakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5333528,813 (3.8)75

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 75 mentions

English (17)  Spanish (6)  German (3)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Tsukiko is not the manic pixie dream girl the US cover would have you believe. Thank the gods.

Beautifully sad, magical realism. Quiet and lovely.
  HeatherWhitney | Apr 25, 2019 |
Wie bezeten is door Murakami, groot fan van bijvoorbeeld Liefdesverhalen uit Kamara, of andere Japanse gekte, zal zich met deze roman mogelijk tekort gedaan voelen. De tas van de leraar is dan wel geen standaard 'liefdesverhaal' zoals de ondertitel op het (Nederlandstalige) omslag ons vertelt (tenminste, het is geen romantische genrefictie) maar eerder een trage, onopvallende, ingetogen hedendaagse gevoelsroman.

Knap is dat Kawakami hiervoor geen dramatische poses of grote verzuchtingen nodig heeft, maar dat de 'sensibiliteit' veeleer subtiel verscholen zit in wat niet wordt gezegd, wat zich niet afspeelt. Er zijn geen smachtende blikken, geen diepe poelen van oogcontact, geen eerste trillende, elektrificerende aanrakingen. De spanning heerst tussen de motieven van leraar en leerling, jeugd en ouderdom, stad en natuur — maar ook die worden op hun kop gezet: Sensei is al lang geen leraar meer maar houdt die schijn op, Tsukiko is geen jonge deerne maar een sociale miskleun van bijna veertig, en beiden zijn niet volstrekt op hun gemak, in stad noch platteland.

Niet dat Kawakami dit m.i. optilt naar werkelijk Grote Literatuur. Een zwakte van de roman is dat ze dingen mogelijk iets te veel insinueert, net niet aanraakt (zoals in het verhaal voortdurend het geval is) en daarmee kansen mist. Het ontwijken van de seksscène (met één onmogelijk haakse zin als 'Voor het eerst werd ik vurig en hevig door hem bemind') is wel érg voorzichtig, en ook het afgehaspelde einde komt over alsof het geheel slechts een terzijde was.

Toch was dit geen teleurstelling. Meer nog: het was een aangename verpozing tussen wat dan thematisch bredere literatuur moet heten – op het scherp van banaliteit en klassieker. Het zou zijn dat de auteur ander, krachtiger werk heeft wat meer als japanese weird kan beschreven worden en daar wens ik dan zeker meer van te lezen.

Toch vond ik deze korte 200-pagina's geen dwaasheid en las ik ze alvast niet als een Japanse Op De Beeck. De grote onderscheiding, een Tanizakiprijs (ooit o.m. uitgereikt aan Oe) is voor één keer een indicator dat hier wel degelijk waarde in schuilt.
( )
  nilsgeylen | Jul 29, 2018 |
Tsukiko, a Tokyo office-worker in her late thirties, is drawn into conversation by the elderly man drinking sake next to her in a neighbourhood bar - it turns out that he's her former high-school Japanese literature teacher. The two of them don't seem to have much in common - they're thirty years apart in age, and Tsukiko was never a good student and still has a deaf ear for classical poetry. She addresses her old teacher as "Sensei" not so much out of respect but rather because she can't remember his name at first. But they somehow drift into being companionable drinking acquaintances, then friends, then (after many quarrels about unimportant things) discover that they really need each other's company.

This is a very engaging, delicate-but-funny (occasionally even surrealistic) May-to-December romance and a commentary on modern urban loneliness, but I think Kawakami is also enjoying herself pulling the reader's leg a bit - while Tsukiko is to all appearances a classic western chick-lit character, the detail of the story is obsessively Japanese to the point of self-parody - the over-specified food, the discussions about the correct way to pour sake, the activities Tsokiko and Sensei share (mushroom-hunting, a calligraphy exhibition, a vegetable market, a hot-springs inn, a pachinko parlour, a passionate night of octopus-related haiku-composition...). And then there's the odd figure of Sensei's presumably-dead wife, as subversively odd as Sensei is conservatively old-fashioned. There's definitely a bit more going on here than an unlikely love-affair! ( )
  thorold | Apr 16, 2018 |
i cried when i finished this book, which is neither here nor there, i know. i suppose it's because nothing about this book strikes me as manipulative; it's not sentimental or "romantic" in the sense of what's typically published and sold under the genre, yet all the common elements are there: thirty-something lonely woman meets a man and falls in love. plot twist: he's much older, and was her former teacher. it's just rare to read a story about the dissolution of a carefully-constructed urban aloneness through the very slow and cautious growth of "love" (and what is this love? so elusive) even though both characters engage in repetitive gestures of self-protection that would, in a book by some middle-aged writer living in the west, be the cause of much anxiety and endless self-examination, and perhaps therapy. in this book these two just muddle along, eating their noodles together, just being present. there is something so spare about this kind of existence that it hurts to see it described in tender detail, perhaps because they are, quite simply, serious about knowing each other and not just as a means to getting to know themselves. ( )
  subabat | Mar 19, 2018 |
This book was a weird one, it had the same matter of fact style as other Japanese authors I enjoy, but none of that dreamy quality that makes Haruki Murakami, or Banana Yoshimoto's work so engaging. Because of that it ended up just being boring - at one point the main character spends a couple of pages discussing her taste in mineral water. Also I found the relationship between the two main characters to be completely bizarre, and I wasn't rooting for them to get together at all. At least it was short, I guess? ( )
  plumtingz | Dec 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
added by Delfi_r | editANTIGUA VAMURTRA (Dec 2, 2012)
 
added by Delfi_r | editBibliofilosis Letrae (Feb 15, 2012)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kawakami, Hiromiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gräfe, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, MetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nakayama-Ziegler, KimikoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Offiziell müsste ich meinen alten Lehrer bei seinem vollen Namen nennen: Harutsuna Matsumoto-Sensei - Herr Lehrer Harutsuna Matsumoto -, aber für mich bleibt er einfach der "Sensei".
Quotations
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is the original 1-volume novella by Hiromi Kawakami (川上 弘美), not the 2-volume graphic novel illustrated by Jirō Taniguchi (谷口ジロー).
This work was first published in English under another title:  The Briefcase.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, 'Sensei', in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass - from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms - Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love. Perfectly constructed, funny, and moving, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, 'Sensei', in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass - from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms - Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love. Perfectly constructed, funny, and moving, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.8)
0.5
1 3
1.5
2 7
2.5 4
3 34
3.5 16
4 49
4.5 13
5 33

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,507,670 books! | Top bar: Always visible