Archives for post-war Japan

Book review: The Translation of Love

How to describe The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake? What a charming and unusual novel it is, if at some times a trifle confusing. The setting is unusual, post-war Tokyo when the country is being run by the US General MacArthur and at times it reminded me of Rhidian Brook’s wonderful The Aftermath set in post-war Berlin. It is about war and what it does to us, how a broken society can ever begin to heal, how the young will ever be able to live a normal life, when the word normal ceases to exist. Sensitively written, each page draws a picture of Tokyo from a different point of view – Aya, a Japanese-Canadian schoolgirl feels the odd one out in her new school; her classmate Fumi misses her elder sister who left home to find work; Sumiko has a job in a dance hall dancing with the GIs but is ashamed to tell her family what she is doing; Kondo Sensei, the teacher of the younger girls and also part-time translator and writer of letters; and Matt Matsumoto, the Japanese-American soldier who translates the letters sent to General MacArthur by Japanese citizens. Letters are an important tool in
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Categories: Book Love.