August 1, 2010

Bright Colors

The theme for this month is 'Bright Colors' so I got a photo of these colorful covers.

Every year, since 1976, Shincho Bunko, a Japanese publishing company, chooses 100 books at the start of summer as a special campaign. I guess it's one way to recommend books to the readers.

From the 100, 10 books were chosen for the Special Cover Edition. Apparently 'Special' means 'unbelievably colorful.'

Here is the list of books for this year:
'Kokoro' by Soseki Natsume (white)
'Natsu No Niwa' by Kazumi Yumoto (green)
'Kinkakuji' by Yukio Mishima (gold)
'Edogawa Rampo Kessaku Sen' by Ranpo Edogawa (black)
'Rashomon - Hana' by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (orange)
'Roujin To Umi (The Old Man and the Sea)' by Ernest Hemingway (yellow)
'Ningen Shikkaku' by Osamu Dazai (pink)
'Kitchen' by Banana Yoshimoto (red)
'Yukiguni' by Yasunari Kawabata (white)
'Hashi Monogatari' by Shuhei Fujisawa (blue)

I've actually only read the two books in the photo above, 'The Old Man and the Sea' and 'Ningen Shikkaku.' Of these two, I'd have to say I like Hemingway much better than Dazai, who I think is a 'triple D' writer...deep, dark, and depressing.

Have you read any of them?

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


Hilda said...

A theme day post just for me!

The colorful, uniform covers would make any book lover want to buy all of them — even if s/he already has them. I should know. :P

Seeing Hemingway in the list made me smile.

T. Becque said...

A great theme day post that reflects not only the theme but your country too with the writing on the covers.

Lynette said...

Wonderful post for Theme Day. My Theme Day post at Portland Oregon Daily Photo will be up at 5 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time, on August 1. Today's is a pretty nice tease for it, though.

Louis la Vache said...

hee hee...
«Louis» has read none of them...he can barely read anglais, much less japonais...

However, Mme la Vache is visiting Japan right now - and she is very fluent in Japanese, having lived there for 15 years. She published a novel she wrote in Mandarin.

jennyfreckles said...

Great colours - and I am amazed by the books. Looks like Japanese book are bound with the spine on the right. I didn't know that. As a Brit, I feel I need to turn them over!!

Inverness Daily Photo said...

Wonderfully bright colours.

Tall Gary said...

First of all I would like to thank you for the trouble you went to making all of those links. I did order two books (it would be great if you got a commission).

I have only read four of them. (Kokoro; Rashomon; The Old Man and the Sea; and Yukiguni [Snow Country]). My favorite would be Rashomon.

I generally like Soseki because the books of his I have read could have been written by different authors, so different in style they were. I liked his 草枕, (Kusamakura), The Three-Cornered World because it seemed to convey the way of thinking of a visual artist. If you do not care for “deep, dark, and depressing” it might be best to leave Kokoro unread.

I am not fond of Mishima although his visual imagery is impressive.

It is worth mentioning here that the Japanese mystery writer Edogawa Rampo chose such a pen name because it was close to the Japanese pronunciation of Edgar Allan Poe. (Go ahead all, say them both as fast as you can).

I only read Osamu Dazai’s Setting Sun in university, such a long time ago (another century, actually) and remember nothing of the story, just thinking that it seemed so real and Americanish contemporary. (I did like the movie Villon’s Wife, however). I lived in Mitaka where Dazai lived and died and often thought of his suicide as I walked along the Tamagawa Aquaduct in Kichijoji. I’m sure my apartment at the time was in existence when he was.

I love the beginning of Snow Country when the narrator is looking out of and at the reflection on a moving train window at night. I could see it as if I was there.

By the way, did you know that Soseki Natsume’s younger brother wrote a lot of old songs?

Yes, his brother’s name was Soseki Natsumero. Ouch. Sorry.

Tall Gary said...
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glduro_marieloupe said...

Wonderful! I love the first day of the months!

Tall Gary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Wow! You made links to the books. This is a great post not only for the photo but because you did such a great job of explaining what we were seeing.

B SQUARED said...

The Old Man And The Sea is still one of my favorites. I can do without the Triple D.

cieldequimper said...

Hemingway and Mishima and I both loved them.

Wonderful post Kaori, I think it's fun to have bright book covers!

VP said...

Colorful covers for great books, this could be a great idea. It is a gorgeous interpretation of this Theme Day.

Jazzy said...

how interesting and great bright covers.
happy august theme day!

JM said...

Very bright indeed! Clever choice for theme day.

Babzy said...

Great shot fot the theme ! I have only read Hemingway years ago ... I love your definition of the three D writer ! :) :)

Lisergic Synaesthesiae said...

Brilliant colours!

Last month I read Ryu Murakami's 'Audition'. Now I'm looking for his first novel 'Almost Transparent Blue', do you know him?

Mo said...

Great books and colurful.

Anonymous said...

How alluring to take these colours home, making bright the room in grey winter days.
Guess I would love to try the tripple D. Please have a good start into the new month.

daily athens

EG Wow said...

I like all the bright colours. They'd look cheerful on a bookcase. But of course I would read them first. :)

arabesque said...

hi kaori! this is uniquely colorful and perfect for theme day! ^0^
among them, i have only read banana yoshimoto...and got bored, ^-^
i think japanese writers has a different approach to writing. ^0^
tnx for the info, will try to read some of the writers.

Lois said...

Wonderful choice for Theme Day!

Mulleh said...

Love the colors :D

Kaori said...

Hello all! Thank you for all the comments! And happy theme day to everyone :D

Louis, I'm sure Mme la Vache has read some of them! ;)

Jennyfreckles, What a clever thing to notice! You're right, the cover is always on the right. The words are also written from top to bottom :-)

Tall Gary, did you get your books? I hope you like them! I've never been able to finish a japanese book so maybe I'll buy them in English, too :D (I also liked your dajare!)

Lisergic Synaesthesiae, I Do know of Ryu Murakami, although I've never read his books. Are they good ? :D

Arabesque, you're so right. Japanese writer write beautifully, only you need to really understand the it's hard to receive the same impact from a translated book! But I guess that's the same for any foreign novel :D

Tall Gary said...

I got Banana's Kitchen yesterday. I like the breezy narrative style. Sometimes the narrator reminds me of you actually.

There is a term: “soupy rice.” I’m sure it must be a translation of okayu おかゆ。I wonder if soupy rice is what Soupy Sales ate when he wasn’t eating pie.

Tall Gary said...

Here are some English translations of Japanese books:

Uno Chiyo. It was out of stock. Maybe if you click on her name as author...

Enchi Fumiko

Sawako Ariyoshi

Harumi Setouchi (before she became the Buddhist Priest Jakuchô Setouchi)

Yuko Tsushima (the daughter of Osamu Dazai)

Fumiko Hayashi

Miyuki Miyabe

Murasaki Shikibu ha ha.

Can you tell that I once took a course on women writers in Japan?

Tall Gary said...

Oops. Wrong Amazon above for Harumi Setouchi. <—This one to the left might be better.

Tall Gary said...

There is an eye-opening, self-illustrated book about the incarceration in American concentration camps during WWII of people of Japanese ancestry; many of whom were American citizens. It was written by Miné Okubo and titled Citizen 13660

The American governmental organization then known as the Wartime Civil Control Administration sounds like a direct ancestor of our contemporary U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Man, I hope not.

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