Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

Banana Yoshimoto

Banana YoshimotoBanana Yoshimoto’s 1987 breakthrough, ‘Kitchen’, featured a transexual father and a boy who wears his dead girlfriend’s school uniform.

Since then, the writer (real name Mahoko Yoshimoto) has sold over 6 million books.

Her father, Takaaki Yoshimoto, was a philosopher and leading light of the New Left in the 1960s, so Mahoko’s upbringing was considerably more liberal than her peers’ – she moved in with her boyfriend when she was still at high school.

By exploring the dark side of modern Japan (lesbianism, death, incest, transvestitism, etc), she has earned a loyal fanbase, particularly among young women. However, critics dismiss her work as “karui” (light and insignificant).

The unconventional attitudes and relationships of her characters are mirrored by Yoshimoto herself. Despite being an international literary star, she shuns the glamour of the spotlight, and during her rare public appearances she dresses simply, without make-up.

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One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Luke

    Earlier today I was contemplating whether capitol punishment is just.
    Now I know that in some situations it is. IF NOT EXECUTED, HE SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST BEEN PUT IN JAIL OR A MENTAL INSTITUTION !

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