So a while back, I mentioned that I was taking the 2016 Reading Challenge. I finished the first of those twelve books.
A Year in Japan by Kate T. Williamson:
A Year in Japan was the book I chose for “Book you can finish in one day,” and as expected, I did finish it in one day. Very intriguing read. It was quite cute and funny: illustrations of things like randoseru, which are the standard backpacks worn by grade schoolers all over Japan and which cost about $300 apiece, sakura, geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha), and many, many logos with Japangrish. (This is a term coined by us Japanese learners to describe English that was written by a Japanese person who really didn’t know what it meant yet was trying to sound cute or smart, which usually appears on logos or various products and T-shirts. An example would be “Happy infinite romances occur in a newborn oasis. Wink your future.” which, according to Ms. Williamson, appeared on a bottle of mascara in Japan. Or a T-shirt that says “Elastic Today.” Japangrish is English that sometimes isn’t grammatically incorrect but which makes absolutely no sense to native speakers.)
At the end, though, I felt rather dissatisfied, like “Is that it?” The very last entry in the book is a paragraph about “Daimonji,” which is the ceremonial lighting of fires on the hillside of Kyoto, and these fires are set up to look like the Japanese character for “big.” Then it all of a sudden goes to the acknowledgements without any kind of “big ending” thing. Regardless, it’s a very enjoyable read and I envision myself reading this one over and over again. The only thing is, this book is written entirely in cursive, so it’s a bit disconcerting at first because it’s been something like twenty years since I last even read or wrote cursive.
That’s all for now. I’m planning to write a small review of each book I read for the challenge, so keep reading, because I will too. 乙女