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Bitamin Fの表紙画像

FAMILIAL LOVE

Bitamin F

[Vitamin F]

By Shigematsu Kiyoshi

Shinchōsha (Shinchō Bunko), 2003. 362 pp. ¥630. ISBN 978-4-10-134915-2.

Also published in: Chinese, Korean, and Thai

This series of seven short stories focuses on the contemporary Japanese family. All of the stories in this extremely well-made collection by a skilled author are cleverly structured, with engaging plots. More than anything, they all display a superb craftsmanship in leaving a deep impression of the fathers who appear in them. While the author has coined the term “vitamin F” with various meanings in mind, it most clearly calls to mind “family.” The stories concern men in their late thirties and forties, approaching middle age. They are ordinary people who have families, own small homes in new towns in the suburbs of Tokyo, and earn their living as diligent office workers, trying to be good husbands and fathers at the same time. Somehow, though, they never succeed in this last task.

    The families depicted are not necessarily happy, and communication between family members is not necessarily smooth—a girl is unable to open up to her parents about the bullying she is suffering at school, for instance, and a father is never told anything important by his daughter. But a deep sense of affection runs through all of the stories, deriving from the author’s warm view of humanity. Even if the family bonds come to a breakdown, family love is still important. This is what Shigematsu Kiyoshi is telling us. (NM)
Bitamin Fの表紙画像

By Shigematsu Kiyoshi

Shigematsu Kiyoshi

Born in Okayama Prefecture in 1963. Began writing after working for a publishing company. Became an author with Bifoa ran [Before Run] in 1991. In 1999 won the Tsubota Jōji Literary Prize for Naifu [Knife] and the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize for Eiji. Won the 2001 Naoki Prize for Bitamin F and the 2010 Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature for Jūjika [Cross]. His other works include Aoi tori [The Blue Bird], Ponī tēru [Ponytail], Zetsumetsu shōnen [Extinct Children], and Hitorikko dōmei [Alliance of Only Children]

Translation rights inquiries

Shinchōsha Publishing Co., Ltd.
(attn. Kimura Tatsuya, Foreign Rights Section)
71 Yarai-chō, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8711
Email: t.kimura@shinchosha.co.jp
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