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El cielo es azul, la tierra blanca /The…
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El cielo es azul, la tierra blanca /The Briefcase aka Strange Weather in… (original 2001; edition 2017)

by Hiromi Kawakami (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7443822,233 (3.81)89
"Tsukiko, thirty-eight, works in an office and lives alone. One night, she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, "Sensei" in a local bar. Tsukiko had only ever called him "Sensei" ("Teacher"). He is thirty years her senior, retired, and presumably a widower. Their relationship-traced by Kawakami's gentle hints at the changing seasons-develops from a perfunctory acknowledgment of each other as they eat and drink alone at the bar, to an enjoyable sense of companionship, and finally into a deeply sentimental love affair. As Tsukiko and Sensei grow to know and love one another, time's passing comes across through the seasons and the food and beverages they consume together. From warm sake to chilled beer, from the buds on the trees to the blooming of the cherry blossoms, the reader is enveloped by a keen sense of pathos and both characters' loneliness"--… (more)
Member:tomatekumato
Title:El cielo es azul, la tierra blanca /The Briefcase aka Strange Weather in Tokyo (Literaturas) (Spanish Edition)
Authors:Hiromi Kawakami (Author)
Info:Alfaguara (2017), Edition: 001, 216 pages
Collections:LEIDO, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami (2001)

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» See also 89 mentions

English (19)  Spanish (6)  German (3)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
A story about solitude, described sensually via yudofu, bottles of warm sake, and the moon. Over plates of fish, small cheeses, and mushrooms is a hunger for connection. Rituals of everyday life have a poetic earthiness, allowing (encouraging?) us to be more mindful of different shades of colours within our own mundane existence.

In loneliness I have drifted this long way, alone.
My torn and shabby robe could not keep out the cold.
And tonight the sky was so clear
it made my heart ache all the more.
- Seihaku Irako ( )
  ShelfAwareness | Oct 14, 2020 |
A sad but exquisitely beautiful read. Dream like, poetic and one that will certainly stay with me. It also made me want to eat delicious Japanese food and drink sake. ( )
  MandaTheStrange | Oct 7, 2020 |
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 |
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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
Bornas Montaña, MarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräfe, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, MetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nakayama-Ziegler, KimikoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powell, Allison MarkinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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".
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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.
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"Tsukiko, thirty-eight, works in an office and lives alone. One night, she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, "Sensei" in a local bar. Tsukiko had only ever called him "Sensei" ("Teacher"). He is thirty years her senior, retired, and presumably a widower. Their relationship-traced by Kawakami's gentle hints at the changing seasons-develops from a perfunctory acknowledgment of each other as they eat and drink alone at the bar, to an enjoyable sense of companionship, and finally into a deeply sentimental love affair. As Tsukiko and Sensei grow to know and love one another, time's passing comes across through the seasons and the food and beverages they consume together. From warm sake to chilled beer, from the buds on the trees to the blooming of the cherry blossoms, the reader is enveloped by a keen sense of pathos and both characters' loneliness"--

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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.
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