Thursday, January 3, 2013

Meido Meguri

Meido Meguri (冥土めぐり, Touring the Land of the Dead) by Maki Kashimada is the 147th winner of the Akutagawa Prize. The novel contains two short stories, the titled Meido Meguri, and 99 Seppun (99接吻, 99 Kisses).

The first story Meido Meguri tells of the relationship between a wife and her terminally ill husband, and how she learns to cope living with a man who is drastically changed from the man she married. The sense of life being only half lived, and a melancholic acceptance of her new role as care taker and support to her semi-invalid husband. The same pervasive melancholy of a 30-something female reminds me of the works of Hiromi Kawakami, especially Sensei no Kaban.

The second story, 99 Seppun is a story of four sisters and their mother who all live together after their father leaves home, and the unusual relationships that develop. Told from the perspective of the youngest sister, the story tells of the small step from innocent doting younger sister, who then realises the idiosyncrasies of her older sisters and gains a sense of herself and a more independent world view. But it feels a bit like a b-side to the award winning first story.

No comments:

Post a Comment