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The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto

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The fiction of Kenji Nakagami has no peer in contemporary Japan. Born into the burakumin -- an outcast class shunned in feudal Japan and still suffering discrimination today -- Nakagami depicts the lives of his people in powerful, sensual prose and stark, sometimes horrifying detail. The Cape is his breakthrough novella about a burakumin community in a small coastal city a The fiction of Kenji Nakagami has no peer in contemporary Japan. Born into the burakumin -- an outcast class shunned in feudal Japan and still suffering discrimination today -- Nakagami depicts the lives of his people in powerful, sensual prose and stark, sometimes horrifying detail. The Cape is his breakthrough novella about a burakumin community in a small coastal city and their struggles with complicated family histories and troubled memories. Poverty, violence, suicide, and the harsh natural conditions of their home constantly disrupt their lives. Two more early stories, "The Burning House" and "Redhead, " continue these themes, relieved by small moments of profound tenderness.


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The fiction of Kenji Nakagami has no peer in contemporary Japan. Born into the burakumin -- an outcast class shunned in feudal Japan and still suffering discrimination today -- Nakagami depicts the lives of his people in powerful, sensual prose and stark, sometimes horrifying detail. The Cape is his breakthrough novella about a burakumin community in a small coastal city a The fiction of Kenji Nakagami has no peer in contemporary Japan. Born into the burakumin -- an outcast class shunned in feudal Japan and still suffering discrimination today -- Nakagami depicts the lives of his people in powerful, sensual prose and stark, sometimes horrifying detail. The Cape is his breakthrough novella about a burakumin community in a small coastal city and their struggles with complicated family histories and troubled memories. Poverty, violence, suicide, and the harsh natural conditions of their home constantly disrupt their lives. Two more early stories, "The Burning House" and "Redhead, " continue these themes, relieved by small moments of profound tenderness.

30 review for The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mikki

    Kenji Nakagami's writing is not for the easily offended or sensitive-- his stories are dark and filled with brutality, crude language, detailed sex scenes and emotional and physical abuse. The characters are not likeable, have few (if any) redeeming qualities, live hard, poverty stricken lives and commit acts that stretch far beyond most of our moral boundaries. It's a depressing read and I admit to making wincing faces through much of it and just plain skipping over entire paragraphs containing Kenji Nakagami's writing is not for the easily offended or sensitive-- his stories are dark and filled with brutality, crude language, detailed sex scenes and emotional and physical abuse. The characters are not likeable, have few (if any) redeeming qualities, live hard, poverty stricken lives and commit acts that stretch far beyond most of our moral boundaries. It's a depressing read and I admit to making wincing faces through much of it and just plain skipping over entire paragraphs containing explicit violence involving animals, and yet, I pushed through. Here's why. The book is written by and about members of the Burakumin, which are Japan's outcast class. Ghettoized for centuries they were believed to be "tainted" with impure blood and even in today's contemporary society they are still discriminated against although ethnically they are one of the same. I had hoped to gain insight into this little-known cultural secret through these stories, written by one of the few published authors of Burakumin background, but there was little to be learned here. I am not certain if these are accurate portrayals of the community though their depravity and lack of basic humanity feels exaggerated and I can only wonder why Nakagami chose to depict them as such. To shock or outrage readers? I don't know, but do remain curious and so I will have to turn to non-fiction works for answers. Though not the most enjoyable read, I give the work a 3 for opening my eyes to this hidden society and for creating an interest to learn more.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    "'The other day when I came to hang out with the boss at the Takada site, Akiyuki got a sweetfish,' said Yasuo. 'He got it in the rapids with a rock. Smashed in its head. There was another one dead without a mark on it. What'd ya do with that one?' 'Oh, I ate it. I took it to my sister's house and she said it gave her the creeps but she broiled it in salt for me.' 'A big one?' asked the woman. 'What else? Akiyuki caught it,' said Yasuo, winking in his direction. 'It was small. They were all babies,' "'The other day when I came to hang out with the boss at the Takada site, Akiyuki got a sweetfish,' said Yasuo. 'He got it in the rapids with a rock. Smashed in its head. There was another one dead without a mark on it. What'd ya do with that one?' 'Oh, I ate it. I took it to my sister's house and she said it gave her the creeps but she broiled it in salt for me.' 'A big one?' asked the woman. 'What else? Akiyuki caught it,' said Yasuo, winking in his direction. 'It was small. They were all babies,' Akiyuki said. Yasuo shook his head gravely. 'I wonder,' he pretended to whisper to himself. Then, still bent over, he extended his hands between his thighs and mumbled, 'I bet it was about this long.' 'Ah, whenever Yasu opens his mouth, I forget what we're supposed to be talking about,' laughed the woman. Then everyone began to laugh. Akyuki smiled uncomfortably. A curious fact dawned on him. Wherever he went, all anybody talked about was sex. The boss was watching him with a gleam in his eyes. Akiyuki looked away." I love a bit of working-class J lit. This was perfect. Akiyuki is macho, virginal and angry and he's on a vague sort of mission to take his vague sort of revenge on someone, somewhere for the awfulness of his complicated and unsatisfying life. Intense.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This is a book of three stories that are more like novella length. It is a different type of Japan than I am used to reading about from authors like Murakami. I didn't know anything about the burakumin, which is an outcaste class in Japan, a background shared by the author. In fact, from what I read about Nakagami, he pulls from his own life for these stories. The stories are memorable and disturbing, with themes of violence and complicated relationships. The end of the title story is uncomforta This is a book of three stories that are more like novella length. It is a different type of Japan than I am used to reading about from authors like Murakami. I didn't know anything about the burakumin, which is an outcaste class in Japan, a background shared by the author. In fact, from what I read about Nakagami, he pulls from his own life for these stories. The stories are memorable and disturbing, with themes of violence and complicated relationships. The end of the title story is uncomfortably so. In Red Hair, I was regretful to be inside the character's head. I would have liked to know what the redheaded girl was thinking; she is often described as tearing up or acting slightly crazy, but I'm not sure I understand why. Kozo, on the other hand, is almost psychopathic in his impassivity towards the woman.

  4. 5 out of 5

    B. Asma

    The back cover of the volume says how the characters' lives of the Burakumin caste differ from other coherent groups:...marginal lives constantly interrupted, often with violence and usually for the worse.The story characters expend a lot of energy picking up the debris when events bring a tide of woe. The Preface presents something about the history of this caste as well as something about Nakagami's unique writing style and earthy language. The first story in this collection "The Cape" exempli The back cover of the volume says how the characters' lives of the Burakumin caste differ from other coherent groups:...marginal lives constantly interrupted, often with violence and usually for the worse.The story characters expend a lot of energy picking up the debris when events bring a tide of woe. The Preface presents something about the history of this caste as well as something about Nakagami's unique writing style and earthy language. The first story in this collection "The Cape" exemplifies the above description in the extended family, whose mother joins the offspring from three fathers, the offspring's spouses and children and some others. The major disruptions to family comes from its members themselves rather than from the outside. There is a history of one girl's pleurisy, one boy's suicide, one man's murder, and another boy's (protagonist) increasing alienation as he comes of age and wonders about his identity with his absent father or with nature. While many characters speak of their lives having improved, the protagonist Akiyuki maintains,Their family was like a house of cards that would topple at the first touch. The family defends itself against enemies. What a lie. And he didn't need a family based on lies. Basically, he didn't need a family at all.This story intermingles many characters, so the genealogy diagram aided identification of complex relationships among characters, two of whom reappear in the next story "House on Fire". "House on Fire" partly occurs shortly before Akiyuki's birth, describing his biological father Yasu, through that man's relationship with Akiyuki's admiring older brother, who tagged along after him. Despite his violent tendencies on others and himself, he expressed gentleness with that brother. This story demystifies him, showing both his pleasure in violence and his surprising interest in the son and the brother. Another part of this story occurs when Akiyuki is married with two children, a heavy drinker who shows a dual nature of physically abusing his wife yet singing to his child . No longer is Akiyuki the virginal young man in "The Cape", though his intrigue with his distant, now hospitalized father, continues to haunt his sense of himself. The third and last story "Red Hair" concerns two people who discover themselves in days and nights of animalistic lovemaking--a man whose traditional laborer's job is changing and a woman whose unrevealed past is uninteresting to him. After "Red Hair" is a very helpful Afterword, which explains the three stories as well as Nakagami's life and writings.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Cihodariu

    I loved having this glimpse of an alternate Japan than the one usually presented in fiction and movies. After Five Women Who Loved Love: Amorous Tales from 17th-Century Japan which also brings forth the emerging middle class or bourgeoisie, The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto brings to the front the figure of the poor and rejected outcasts. I also find it very touching and impressive that the author is also one of the outcasts and the first to openly come out as one. The stories c I loved having this glimpse of an alternate Japan than the one usually presented in fiction and movies. After Five Women Who Loved Love: Amorous Tales from 17th-Century Japan which also brings forth the emerging middle class or bourgeoisie, The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto brings to the front the figure of the poor and rejected outcasts. I also find it very touching and impressive that the author is also one of the outcasts and the first to openly come out as one. The stories contain both tenderness and all the horrors of poverty, dirt, and ignorance: violence, poorly handled mental illness, tragedy, and depression, etc. Yet the tone of the stories is not hopeless and perhaps this is the most important thing about Nakagami's prose, and what sets it apart from what we could expect of it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    I was drawn into ‘The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto’ thinking I would find out more about the Burakumin, an outcast class discriminated against in Japan. The stories were interesting enough, though never more than that, and they shed little light on the history or the present situation. At best, they got me searching the internet for more information about the Burakumin and their lives. That was a much more enlightening endeavor.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Will

    The perfect example of why book covers matter. When I glanced at the cover and read the title, I thought Nakagami's writing was going to be crappy pulp fiction that I would breeze through and quickly forget. Thank God I was wrong. Kenji Nakagami was a burakamin, born into Japan's stigmatized undercaste, and a spectacular writer. Japanese fiction is often introspective, clear, and intellectual, one of the reasons why I love reading it. But Nakagami lets nature, sex, family and other outside forces The perfect example of why book covers matter. When I glanced at the cover and read the title, I thought Nakagami's writing was going to be crappy pulp fiction that I would breeze through and quickly forget. Thank God I was wrong. Kenji Nakagami was a burakamin, born into Japan's stigmatized undercaste, and a spectacular writer. Japanese fiction is often introspective, clear, and intellectual, one of the reasons why I love reading it. But Nakagami lets nature, sex, family and other outside forces drive his narrative, a technique that I never thought I would experience when reading Japanese fiction. And it works. The raw appeal of his stories, steeped in taboo and myth, had me hooked from the opening lines of "The Cape," a magnificent novella. "The night insects were just beginning to hum. If he listened hard he could hear them far away, like a buzzing in his ears. All night long, the insects would hum. Akiyuki imagined the smell of the cold night earth. His sister came in with a large plate of meat." In these three stories, Nakagami constructs an oppressive atmosphere with simple sentences. He evokes a sense of inevitability: the past is the past, and it will continue to affect the future. Fathers beat and abandon, suicide and murder dominate, and sex is power. "Red Hair" was incredible and terrifying. I was pulled into the red-haired woman's emotions, her constant need and insatiable demand for sexual pleasure, the man's psyche, and their intertwined bodies. Nakagami creates a sticky, wet aura that lingers even after the reader finishes the story. Sitting here writing this, I still feel the pull of his words. Give Nakagami a chance, despite the horrible cover and its "ghettoization" of his stories. His writing deserves international recognition. (The book has a fantastic afterword written by the book's translator, Eve Zimmerman, which adds context to the stories that made the experience even more enjoyable. I can't recommend it enough.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eadweard

    “I’m exhausted. You’re not a bad person, I know that, it’s all this stuff you keep inside, when you drink too much it all comes out. You think people are insects, don’t you, and you’re the only human being in the world, but tell me, what is the difference between you and me? Just try and tell me. Give me one reason why a man should beat up a woman.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    R K

    There were three stories in here The Cape, The Burning House, and Redhead. The Cape 4/5 This is a story that is supposed to show the life of the outcast community known as Burakumin. No one really knows why exactly this community is seen as an outcast. They do not look any different nor is it for any religious/cultural reason. It's speculated that because members of this community had occupations that were seen as "impure" (ex. tanners, butchers, executioners etc.), they slowly became ostracized. There were three stories in here The Cape, The Burning House, and Redhead. The Cape 4/5 This is a story that is supposed to show the life of the outcast community known as Burakumin. No one really knows why exactly this community is seen as an outcast. They do not look any different nor is it for any religious/cultural reason. It's speculated that because members of this community had occupations that were seen as "impure" (ex. tanners, butchers, executioners etc.), they slowly became ostracized. For a long time, this community faced much oppression and hate. I'm sure today, members from his community have equal rights but it took efforts of many people. One person was Kenji Nakagami. He grew up in the alleyways of the Burakumin community but was elevated in status do to the funding that the government provided at the time. Eventually he became a writer dedicated to telling the stories from this community in order to have their voices heard. In The Cape, we follow a very complicated path in regards to characters. Not everyone is given a set name. Some people are just referred to as The Mother or The brother or even, That Man. It can get a bit confusing but it adds to the story. The main purpose of this story is to show the conflicts members of this community face. They have physically tolling work days and don't have much to do in their rest time other than to drink and roam the red light district. Families can be made up to many step siblings that are doing their best to be together. In this we have our main character who feels different from his family because everyone (regardless of relation) has had some connection to their father while he did not. His father is a roamer and never tried to meet him. On top of that our main character has 2 half sisters he knows nothing about. He is in constant conflicts with the issues of his family, past, and anger towards his father. It's a good story but left me wondering how exactly it shows the conflicts between the Burakumin community and the general Japanese community. The problems seemed more a circumstantial one over a "ostracized community" one. The Burning House 1/5 This is supposed to be another story involving the same MC from The Cape but the complete change in character made it hard to believe. Now we have an older MC who has a wife and 2 children. He drinks and basically behaves exactly how he didn't want to in The Cape. He becomes abusive and still remains in conflict with his absent father who has now passed away. I was not moved by this story and felt the MC needed to grow up and not take his frustration out on his family. Again, I was left wondering about the connection betweent he Burakumin community and the general Japanese community. Redhead 1/5 To put it short, despite all the analysis given to this short story, it was basically intimate scenes on full display. There was no freaking plot! It was just 2 people who had nothing better to do because it was raining. Again, where is that connection between the Burakumin community and the general Japanese community?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Marika

    I read the first two (of three) stories in this book. Even though I've only read a few Japanese authors so far, it's interesting to me that there is a totally clear style of short, factual sentences and understated dialogue that lets you infer relationships and meanings on your own. In the beginning there's a family tree to help clarify the relationships between the characters. I like this. Though it made me feel a little dumb - I'm not sure if it was included by the English translator, or was pa I read the first two (of three) stories in this book. Even though I've only read a few Japanese authors so far, it's interesting to me that there is a totally clear style of short, factual sentences and understated dialogue that lets you infer relationships and meanings on your own. In the beginning there's a family tree to help clarify the relationships between the characters. I like this. Though it made me feel a little dumb - I'm not sure if it was included by the English translator, or was part of the original release. He uses the same characters in slightly different ways in the stories. I like that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ryo narasaki

    i have immense respect for nakagami - this cover is an insult, but if you get past it, there is some really amazing stuff. very macho, but nevertheless, his project of challenging the nationalist/imperialist mythology of japanese identity is brilliant, if a little anthropological at times. unfortunately for those who only read translations, it is much better in japanese.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I read this back in 2000 and cannot recall much but I do remember the feeling. This guy rocks my socks like Mishima.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Parrish Lantern

    Burakumin (部落民 hamlet people/village people) are a Japanese minority group who have faced discrimination in Japan. The Burakumin, although one of the main minority groups in Japan, are racially and ethnically identical to other members of this country. Most historians trace the creation of a rigid outcaste class back to the early eighteenth century, when the Toku-gawa government issued a number of edicts defining outcaste status and listing rules to regulate outcaste dress code and freedom of mo Burakumin (部落民 hamlet people/village people) are a Japanese minority group who have faced discrimination in Japan. The Burakumin, although one of the main minority groups in Japan, are racially and ethnically identical to other members of this country. Most historians trace the creation of a rigid outcaste class back to the early eighteenth century, when the Toku-gawa government issued a number of edicts defining outcaste status and listing rules to regulate outcaste dress code and freedom of movement, going so far as to cover what style of house they could live in (no windows facing the street). Some scholars claim more ancient origins tracing outcaste communities to the 14th –15th century, these conflicts notwithstanding, Ian Neary* traces a development over time in the formation of outcaste identity: “ whereas before 1600 the emphasis was on occupation afterwards it was on bloodline”. Although they were legally liberated in 1871, with the abolition of the feudal caste system, this did nothing to put a stop to social discrimination or lower standard of living. Todays Burakumin are descendants of these feudal era outcaste communities, whose occupations would have mainly comprised of work considered unpure, tainted with death or ritual impurity (such as executioners, undertakers, workers in slaughterhouses, butchers or tanners) and traditionally lived in their own secluded hamlets and ghettos. This isolation, added to the long history of taboos and myths concerning the buraku, has left a legacy of social desolation. In the early 1970s the Japanese government who could no longer ignore the widening gap in the living standards between the prosperous middle classes and the outcaste community, began to throw loads of money at the problem, bulldozing the old housing and replacing with concrete prefab buildings. Since the 1980s more and more young buraku have started to organize and protest against their plight, with movements whose objectives range from "liberation" to integration with the aim of ending this situation. * “Burakumin in contemporary Japan” Japan’s minorities, ed.Michael Weiner (London, Routledge, 1977) The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto, contains three early tales of Kenji Nakagami set in and about the Burakumin community, a segment of society he was familiar with, being a member of the baruku himself. In these stories he reveals a section of Japanese society that most will never wander through, the alleyways and “unclean” spaces, recording the dialect of the labourer, the uneducated manual workers & leather workers. By using the local idiom of the outcaste, he created a prose style that captures all the nuances and richness found there. Kenji Nakagami won the Akutagawa Prize in 1975 for The Cape, becoming the first author born in the post-war period to win this prize. The Cape tells the story of a tough burakumin family, gathering together to hold a memorial service for the first husband of the matriarch. Akiyuki, the son of a women who although married twice, but never to his father grows up in a world of half-siblings. One of these is Ikuo, a half brother who engages in violent against Akiyuki and his mother after she remarries and moves in with her new husband. Ikuo commits suicide when Akiyuki is twelve. We learn all of this as the memorial service is being organised and yet the shadow of violence is never far from Akiyuki and its spectre raises its head once more as Akiyuki’s in-law murders Furuichi (his own brother in law). All of this isolates Akiyuki even more and in search of answers to who he is, he turns to his natural father, which merely piles confusion upon confusion. The second tale, House on Fire, is a study of an ordinary man, constantly ambushed by his own rage, endlessly reliving the memory of his father’s acts of violence. This story is framed around the illegitimate son of an arsonist, who hears that his father is in a hospital bed, his body shattered in a motorbike crash. This tale moves back and forth in time, between different characters and perspectives. The uniting force between father and son is violence, the one clear memory that the son has is of his father fighting another man at a school fair, this act seems to define for the son ideals of sexuality and manhood. This legacy follows the son into adulthood, although now, his own violent impulses shows themselves in the petty and sordid acts of bullying committed against his tired wife or in the destruction of inanimate objects. This tale plays out the drama of identity, as the protagonist tries to piece the shards of his life, sifting through what is memory and myth, caught in this riddle the son ends up alienating all. The third tale in this collection is Red Hair, and possibly the most straight forward of these tales. Kozo, a construction worker picks up a red headed women at a bus stop, what follows is a tale of sexual excess as Kozo & this unknown insatiable redhead explore each others bodies, punctuated only by the other bodily needs and Kozo’s job. This account of sexual obsession is raw, it burns off the page with a brute force and a passion that could light up a major city and yet?Within its twenty four pages, this book hints at a lot more, insinuations that this mysterious women has a dark past, carries a lot of emotional baggage, then there’s the screams each morning from a neighbour who’s addicted to amphetamines and wakes them up with her cries. http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/...

  14. 4 out of 5

    AK

    Three short-stories by the late 20th century writer Nakagami Kenji. Tough tales of working-class life. Nakagami was about the first writer to identify as a member of the burakumin caste, deeply discriminated against in Japan. The stories also may be about burakumin people, although that wouldn't be clear without the very informative essays that accompany this collection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Almança

    En algún lugar entre ‘La estación del sol’ de Ishihara y ‘Azul casi transparente’ de Ryu Murakami. Sin duda los tres forman un buen pack de lectura. Violencia, drogas y sexo en el Japón de los años 50 a 70.

  16. 4 out of 5

    alan hughs

    Strong confident prose with a visceral intensity that is at once both riveting and disturbing. The third story ventures very close to being pornographic. But the minute details make his point quite clear. Earthy, brutal with little to no sentimentality, this collection is a compelling read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aveugle Vogel

    "the sparrows and the crows"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tenma

    This was an extremely boring read for me. I had to stop after every few pages to read another book! It just drags forever. There is no story per se. The book is a glimpse into the lives of a disjointed outcast family(at least in the first two stories). There are three short stories in this book. Two are fairly similar in themes with several characters in common. The third, however, better qualifies as a short erotic story about the intimate relationship between a day laborer and a prostitute. I This was an extremely boring read for me. I had to stop after every few pages to read another book! It just drags forever. There is no story per se. The book is a glimpse into the lives of a disjointed outcast family(at least in the first two stories). There are three short stories in this book. Two are fairly similar in themes with several characters in common. The third, however, better qualifies as a short erotic story about the intimate relationship between a day laborer and a prostitute. I cannot imagine anyone enjoying this book, other than those invested in studying Japanese literature for the peculiar writing style of Mr Nakagami. Initially I was interested in knowing more about the life in the less fortunate neighborhoods or ghettos of Japan. Despite its title, you won't get that from this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    It's hard for me to talk about this collection of stories objectively. They contain so much gritty and troubling imagery.. I dunno, reading them made me anxious. I seriously didn't pick up hardly any of the subtext and symbolism--thank god for that literature review at the back. I liked that the stories were connected; you could kind of move back and forward through time with the characters as they changed. If you like volatile characters that threaten to implode in on themselves at pretty much It's hard for me to talk about this collection of stories objectively. They contain so much gritty and troubling imagery.. I dunno, reading them made me anxious. I seriously didn't pick up hardly any of the subtext and symbolism--thank god for that literature review at the back. I liked that the stories were connected; you could kind of move back and forward through time with the characters as they changed. If you like volatile characters that threaten to implode in on themselves at pretty much any moment, this is your book. If you wanna feel super depressed and hopeless, this is your book. As the editor puts it, if you 'experience anxiety over the question of your origins', this is your book. This might be an author to return to in the future.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sean Yokomizo

    Nakagami is one of my favorite authors. His clear dissatisfaction with the conventions of Japanese literature and culture drive his prose as they do Mishima's. I've found that Nakagami is difficult for Western readers to appreciate, probably because his themes are more deeply rooted in Japanese culture than a writer like Murakami or Oe. If you're looking for something, different, disturbing, challenging, and rewarding then this is a book for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rhea

    These stories are really dark, and I didn't know that going in. I can handle dark stuff typically, but this had a different flavor than what I'm used to, so I didn't really care for it that much in that sense, you know? It calls on Japanese mythology, and while I know some of it, it totally flew over my head when I read it, so I didn't notice it until it was mentioned in the critical essays. It may be worth reading for a different perspective though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Bennet

    It has an interesting prose and style of story telling. There are three stories in it and The Cape is more of a novella. The characters in it are not intellectuals but labourers and their families. The translation was very good and I enjoyed the book very much. Warning: The third story Red Hair has explicit sexual scenes. So you may want to skip that one if you don't like that kind of thing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sae-chan

    This is what you get when you mix beautiful narration with vulgar dialogue. A very strange mixture indeed. I think Nakagami-san wrote really well, it's just that I'm not yet reaching the point of being able to fullly appreciate it. I should have give this four-star, but there is still something I couldn't digest. Maybe later.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alice Jennings

    Hard to understand what's going on. I know his style and message comes through by not using characters names and by just using their labels such as 'sister of such and such', but it made it so hard to read. Never again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Kent

    A startlingly raw trio of stories. Fans of the director Shohei Imamura will revel in a contemporary from the world of literature. Not for the faint of heart.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Olga

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hale

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brad

  29. 4 out of 5

    Will

  30. 5 out of 5

    Noramone Potter

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