Literature – II

Cats, Geisha, Travel,

Wars, birds, moons, birthdays

All types of tales here

Hopping over from Literature I

A Japanese girl I know has recommended another Murakami to me, Ryõ I think it is.   Apparently, his work is really good also.  I must check it out.

I really want to read more of Kawabata and I think Natsume has another book of interest as well.

The Roads to Sata, a 2,000-mile walk through Japan, Alan Booth – a travelogue which I enjoyed immensely on first reading and since then I`ve read it a few more times.   He had been living in Japan a while and his Japanese was fluent, and yet he showed at times that he was weary of certain Japanese.  In any case, apart from his enjoyable tale of his trip, I admire him for walking the whole length of Japan.

The Shõgun, James Clavell – terribly cheesy, apparently historically inaccurate (though I`m not an expert by any means on 17th century Japan, it is loosely based on the political situation in Japan at that time with Christians coming to Japan for the first time) but a page-turner none the less.  I think it deserves a mention just because it`s over 1000 pages and I survived it at least once.

Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden – This is an enjoyable story and I like the book more than the film. The only thing I can say about the film is that the costumes and the scenery are great and the soundtrack is lovely.   I just didn`t think it was a great rendition of the book.

Also, the geisha on whom the book is based is said to have her own version out as she thought Golden used her and told the story in a different way to how she would have liked.  I haven`t read her book so I can`t comment on that.

Geisha, by Liza Dalby – a tale of a woman who was the first foreigner to be a Geisha.  It was a bit boring to be honest and I found myself rolling my eyes at the situations a little bit too much.  The only thing I liked about it, and which kept me reading, was the historical background of the Geisha and how they came into being as such.   Dalby is an anthropologist and that`s probably why I bought the book as anthropology is an area that interests me.  I understand that Geisha are widely misunderstood (people think they are something akin to prostitutes) and she defends them well and dispels this myth but she goes a bit too far at times in being over-critical of wives in Japan (whose husbands frequent parties with geisha).  Incidentally, this woman was the `consultant` on the filming of Memoirs of a Geisha.  Hmmm.

Any thoughts? In haiku form or not?

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