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Hōyō, arui wa raisu ni wa shio o の表紙画像

FAMILIAL LOVE

Hōyō, arui wa raisu ni wa shio o

[Hugging, or Salt on Rice]

By Ekuni Kaori

Shūeisha (Shūeisha Bunko), 2014. Vol. I: 352 pp. ¥600. ISBN 978-4-08-745150-4. Vol. II: 336 pp. ¥600. ISBN 978-4-08-745151-1.

Also published in: n/a

This is the story of the Yanagishima family, who live in Kamiyachō, an area near Tokyo Tower where embassies are clustered. The Yanagishimas lead a lifestyle very different from that of a typical Japanese family, dwelling in a Taishō era (1912–26) Western-style house almost like an art museum. For one thing, they are always hugging, which seems a very Western and somewhat odd habit to the people around them. What is more, the four children do not attend school. The parents believe that compulsory education only means they must provide education to their children, and that it is fine to do so at home. Based on this policy, they hire tutors to educate their children thoroughly. It is clear that this family has a distinctive, one might say aristocratic, view of duty. Gradually, the reader figures out that this refined and close household is of a composite nature, including children from extramarital affairs by both husband and wife.

    Ekuni Kaori jumps easily backward and forward through time as she portrays this family and its rebellion against the standardization of Japanese society. Skillfully interweaving the proud and freedom-loving voices of family members with the testimony of outsiders, the story is filled with the interest and excitement of multiple perspectives. Ultimately, as time moves on, family ties begin to unravel as members pass away or find partners and leave home. In lyrical sentences, Ekuni movingly depicts this utopian family thoroughly until its last days. (NK)
Hōyō, arui wa raisu ni wa shio o の表紙画像
Ekuni Kaoriの著者画像

By Ekuni Kaori

Ekuni Kaori

Born in Tokyo in 1964. After graduating from junior college, attended the Athénée Français language school before studying abroad in the United States. Made her debut as a children’s writer in 1987 and has gone on to be active in a variety of literary fields. Has won numerous prizes, including the Murasaki Shikibu Prize for Literature for Kirakira hikaru [trans. Twinkle Twinkle] and the Naoki Prize for Gōkyū suru junbi wa dekite ita [I Was Prepared to Wail]. Many of her works have been adapted for television and film.

Translation rights inquiries

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