‘If we want to understand what has been lost to time, there is no way other than through the exercise of imagination … imagination applied with delicate rather than broad strokes’. So wrote the award winning Japanese author Kyoko Nakajima of her story, Things Remembered and Things Forgotten, a piece that illuminates, as if by throwing a switch, the layers of wartime devastation that lie just below the surface of Tokyo’s insistently modern culture. The ten acclaimed stories in this collection are pervaded by an air of Japanese ghostliness. In beautifully crafted and deceptively light prose, Nakajima portrays men and women beset by cultural amnesia and unaware of how haunted they are – by fragmented memories of war and occupation, by fading traditions, by buildings lost to firestorms and bulldozers, by the spirits of their recent past.
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