【My absolute favorite Japanese literary work in the world】Beautiful stories from far away From Japan
2023-11-20 ｜ TOSHI
❙ I like Japanese literature, I often share values with the author
I like Japanese literature. In literature, it may be my favorite kind of literature in the world.
This is because I am Japanese, and I can understand the fine nuances, beauty, and merits through my native language, place names, and historical background, and above all, I often share values with the author.
I love studying foreign languages and interacting with other cultures, and I sometimes think that the more different things are, the more interesting they become.
However, literature touches the deepest parts of the heart. If you think about it, maybe it’s natural that there are things you can’t understand.
❙ My major was French literature, and…
In fact, my major in university was French literature.
At that time, I recall a certain professor telling me that we should be able to write all the great people and masterpieces in the history of French literature in their original language, and he gave us a test every week, but I found it very difficult. I’m not good at rote memorization.
So, I read almost all the famous works of French literature, from the classics to the latest works of the time, translated into French and Japanese.
If I were to be honest about my impressions, I would say that I hardly ever empathized with the main character.
I understand the techniques to a certain extent, and there are some that I like.
I really like the realism and technique of expressing human emotions in Madame Bovary. I had always wanted to be a writer, so I thought it would be possible to learn this technique.
I chose books with good Japanese translations, copied them down, and studied them.
However, many of the so-called masterpieces of French literature that I read were complicated love stories involving three or more men and women, and I couldn’t keep up with them.
I love French paintings, cooking, the freedom, and other arts. But I don’t understand what I don’t know, maybe due to the translation and cultural barriers.
I’m a woman, but I like things that are masculine, pure, or practical.
Speaking of movies, I like Akira Kurosawa (黒澤明). Those who know him will surely understand why. His movies are what is the most beautiful to me.
Are there some differences between French literatures that are famous in Japan and those are famous in France? If you have any opinions, I’d like to hear them.
❙ Confessions of a Mask
Have you ever read Japanese literature?
If you haven’t already, I recommend Yukio Mishima(三島由紀夫), who is my most favorite authors. He is an amazing writer.
My favorite Japanese literature is Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask (仮面の告白). When I was in middle school, I read it all under the covers of my futon during summer vacation.
It’s a story about a main character struggling with his own homosexuality, and the reality is really moving.
Also, Mishima was a highly educated person, and his Japanese is very beautiful.
❙ The Sound of Waves
I also recommend The Sound of Waves（潮騒）. This is a love story between a young, naive fisherman and a woman diver (ama diver 海女), and is one of Mishima’s works that is relatively straightforward and easy to read.
The island where the novel is set on is based on an island near my hometown.
Mishima comes from a good family in Tokyo. While reading this work, it was interesting to see how the island looked to someone like him and the different perspectives he brought to the story.
Just as Tokyo seems fresh and beautiful to me today, on the other hand, that island must have looked like this to Mishima.
In other words, it is a traveler’s perspective.
It seems to me that island near my hometown is already something different in his world of beauty.
I was fortunate that Mishima painted my hometown with his writing. Through his writing, the reader incliding I can travel to a paradise in the middle of nowhere from their own home.
However, the city which name of Toba-city(鳥羽市) the island belong to (There is a distance from land to the island), I think it is a beautiful place, and some of the woman divers…
“Why does this person look so happy?”
There are people like that.
Mishima was also a writer devoted to Bushido, the spirit of the Samurai .
Unfortunately, he committed suicide by harakiri himself through the ritualistic Japanese method that involved katana sword at the age of 45. It was shocking.
Lastly, I would like to say that a novelist’s job is not simply conveying facts.
His goal is to show his readers the works he has created in pursuit of what he feels is beautiful, and what he sometimes believes to be, and which he has created within his own world of beauty.
This is probably his world of beauty.
In any case, without Japan, his work would not have been created. Even after rereading his work now, I think he was a good writer.
His handwriting is also very good and beautiful.
❙ Mishima’s English on YouTube
Recently, I found a video of Mishima speaking English on YouTube. He also seems to be good at English.
It was the first time I saw him speak.
Please let me know if you find any other videos.
Many of Mishima’s works have been translated. Please let me know your thoughts on his work. I would be happy if we could have a discussion. Even if you disagree, that’s okay too.
※TOSHI, I had been a writer who mainly focuses on food for around 5 years. I am looking for media that will publish my essays about Japan, gourmet Mystery novel (※), etc. Feel free to contact me via ClubRosy’s X (Twitter) DM. https://twitter.com/ClubRosy
The articles I wrote
(※)The casebook of Tokyo gourmet writer
[The case of Beautiful Girl Cooking Expert] ⇩⇩
amazon page of TOSHI’s book（竹井夙 Toshi TAKEI’s book）⇩⇩ [美しい人々 Beautiful people] etc.
The casebook of gourmet writer
[Mystery around Chinese tea]⇩⇩
Helpful feedback is always welcome!
⇩⇩Club Rosy’s LINE stickers are now on sale!! （120 Japanese Yen）⇩⇩
As for our daily life, I, or “Rosie-chan,” tweet on Twitter at Club Rosie, almost everyday. so please take a look if you like. It seems that it may be possible to translate with Google.
A follow would be appreciated, so thank you in advance!
Club Rosy Twitter