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3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  29,688 Ratings  ·  2,246 Reviews
Two stories, "Kitchen" and "Moonlight Shadow," told through the eyes of a pair of contemporary young Japanese women, deal with the themes of mothers, love, transsexuality, kitchens, and tragedy.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 23rd 2001 by Faber and Faber (first published January 30th 1988)
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Zsuzsanna "Most editions also include a novella entitled Moonlight Shadow, which is also a tragedy dealing with loss and love." (Wikipedia)
I have seen two…more
"Most editions also include a novella entitled Moonlight Shadow, which is also a tragedy dealing with loss and love." (Wikipedia)
I have seen two different editions so far and both of them included Moonlight Shadow, that's the one with Satsuki in it - I guess you had a different edition. It's not part of Kitchen though, it's a different story so you didn't miss anything important regarding that. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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There's something about Japanese writers. They have the unparalleled ability of transforming an extremely ordinary scene from our everyday mundane lives into something magical and other-worldly. A man walking along a river-bank on a misty April morning may appear to our senses as an ethereal being, barely human, on the path to deliverance and self-discovery.
There's something deeply melancholic yet powerfully meaningful about the beautiful vignettes they beget. Few other writers are capable of c
Apr 06, 2017 Brina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japan
Kitchen and its accompanying story Moonlight Shadow comprise the first novella by award winning Japanese novelist Banana Yoshimoto. Both stories are told through the eyes of young women grieving following the death of a loved one, and deal with how that death plays a profound role in relationships going forward. Told in straight forward prose leaving nothing to chance, Yoshimoto tells two elegant stories.

In Kitchen, Mikage Sakurai had just lost her grandmother, the last person in her family to
Jason Pettus
Jul 09, 2007 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, let's face it; I love everything Banana Yoshimoto's ever written! But that said, she's not for everyone; she's a minimalist storyteller, at least in my opinion, able to turn the emotional state of the right reader with the flick of just one beautiful perfect phrase, but only if you're ready to catch that beautiful perfect phrase and appreciate it for what it is. Give up on this review yet? Then you shouldn't be reading Yoshimoto! Actually consisting of two novellas, Kitchen (named after the ...more
Jr Bacdayan
May 07, 2015 Jr Bacdayan rated it it was amazing
This is a book on healing, a lovely look at the hurting human heart and its captivating reflection. Convalescence has never been so beautiful. One has to admit that the theme of loss in literature has been one of the most exploited and has been done so masterfully by the best. But never have I encountered one on recovery where it has been handled as exquisitely.

“Everyone we love is dying. Still, to cease living is unacceptable.”

When you lose someone, a void is created. You seek to fill that hol
Feb 05, 2011 TK421 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
One of the many things I love about goodreads is that a person is able to see what other “friends” think about a novel before committing oneself to reading it. I would have never read KITCHEN had I not seen that Mariel, Oriana, and Jason Pettus, three of my friends, all thought highly of this slim book.

But, even with the high ratings of these three “friends”, I still had to find out information about Banana Yoshimoto, the author. So I went to Wikipedia (obviously, where else would I go?) and re
"People aren't overcome by situations or outside forces; defeat invades from within."

I didn't like this book. It comprises a novella (Kitchen) and short story (Moonlight Shadow), but I'm not sure how much is the book's fault, and how much can be attributed to being set in an unfamiliar culture (Japanese teens/twenties), possibly bad translation, and that although the atmosphere is contemporary, it was actually written and set nearly 30 years ago.

I was expecting lyrical language, and quirky insig

A couple of days ago, I watched a film called Millenium Actress, a Japanese anime film centered around the life of a once wildly popular Japanese film star. I loved it for its lovely story as well as its wonderful animation, but most of all for its peculiar disregard of many of the 'rules' of film that I hadn't realized I unconsciously followed until they were subverted. This sort of bending and breaking of my own sensibilities into something I had never considered something that would work
Now that I teach English as my main job I am more than ever aware of how language shapes and limits what can be expressed, how it makes and remakes the social world as it is made and remade. I have read few books from the Japanese, but I would wager I can tell such a text after reading a page! Perhaps it was the themes, not only the flavour of the language, that made this taste so distinctly Japanese to me. Quirky relationships, dramatic melancholy, organised and comfortable domesticity, defianc ...more
Lynne King
...if a person hasn't ever experienced true despair, she grows old never knowing how to evaluate where she is in life; never understanding what joy really is. I'm grateful for it.

Samadrita in her excellent review began with:

There's something about Japanese writers. They have the unparalleled ability of transforming an extremely ordinary scene from our everyday mundane lives into something magical and other-worldly.

I thoroughly agree with her and that magical quality transforms what could have
Nidhi Singh
Apr 04, 2013 Nidhi Singh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, most-loved
If there is a colour for the prose of Banana Yoshimoto, it is blue. Reading ‘Kitchen’ is like walking in the clear crisp air of a blue night in Tokyo. She works beautifully with surrealistic imagery, with artless simplicity. The images of the night, the houses in the streetlight, the colour of the sunset and the sky, the moonlight in the kitchen transpire again and again in the beautifully sparse writing until one breathes completely in the dreamlike quality of it. These images do not convey the ...more
Aug 24, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it
This is, hands down, the worst thing I've read in recent years.

Let's start with the translation, because that is largely to blame for my utter disgust. The prose is terrible. Awkward, contradictory, inconsistent, hackneyed and immature. (Apparently not so in the original Japanese which has been hailed as poetic and lyrical. Even given my limited knowledge of Japanese, I can see how this would be the case.) This is what I would expect from an electronic translator, e.g. google-translate and its i
Sep 22, 2015 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Samadrita
Shelves: 2015_sow
My reading of this short work might have been snake-bit from the go. In the first I’m regrettably tinny eared when it comes to stories of romance and lost love. I also have no fundamental understanding of the Japanese language in its native form, other than its nuances successfully translated to English run the spectrum from Aflred Brinbaum to Jay Rubin – translators of Murakami’s works so very different that their output feels like two completely different authors. So perhaps it was the transla ...more
Paul Bryant
Jun 08, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I did a quick audit of my Japanese cultural input and came up with the following :


Tokyo Story – beautiful acknowledged masterpiece
Nobody Knows – great indy
Kikujiro – worth watching
Love Exposure – quite insane, probably brilliant, unmissable, but you should be warned that it’s quite insane
Visitor Q – er, probably avoid this one! Really gross.
Seven Samurai – may be the greatest film ever, if there is such a thing


Babel – brilliant film, but the Tokyo part is strange &
Hippo dari Hongkong
maap kalo tulisan ini sepertinya gak nyambung ama bukuna

"Ada buku EA?" ...

Inget buku ini otomatis inget kelakuan seorang rekan durjana yang bisa bikin malu sesama rekan durjana. Ternyata ketua dewan pembina jaduler lebih durjana dari gw :))

Buku ini didapat dilapak buku bekas Dewi Sartika dalam rangka Reuni Durjana sekaligus merayakan ultah seorang durjana yang sudah di rancang sejak awal bulan atas permintaan seorang durjana yang bermukim di Tangerang.

Jam 12an nyampe di lapak buku Dewi Sartika
Apr 11, 2016 Lalarme23 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hôm rày có cô gái nhắn tin cho tôi. Cô ấy hỏi nhưng cũng là tự trả lời rằng liệu sự tương tác giữa con người khó khăn vậy sao, liệu những tiểu tinh cầu mà mỗi người đại diện có gặp nhau? Trong câu chữ của cô ấy, là sự trách móc, vì tôi đã không trả lời tin nhắn đầu tiên. Quả thực, tôi không thể dành hết thời gian để trả lời những tin nhắn không có chủ đích rõ ràng, ngoài những lời nói mông lung, đượm buồn, như muốn trút bớt đi nỗi lòng mà không cần tôi đáp lại.

Quả thực, chẳng bao giờ dễ dàng gì
Apr 07, 2007 ruzmarì rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Kitchen" is a great little novella, and reading it is like having an old friend come to stay with you for a few days out of the blue. That one friend who had just the perfect quirky turn of phrase, the oddly poetic outlook on things like noodles and shoelace-tips. Yoshimoto's writing has matured since "Kitchen," but this story remains fresh and thoughtful, charming and simple and deep. My favorite part of the book, though, isn't the title novella but the one included after it, "Moonlight Shadow ...more
მინდია არაბული
მიკაგეს მოუკვდა ბებია
მიკაგეს არავინ დარჩა ამ სამყაროში.
მიკაგემ აღმოაჩინა, რომ ყველანაირი ბმა ადამიანებთან გაწყდა და ეს უეცარ კომფორტს განიჭებს.
თავიდან საერთოდ не выходи из комнаты ხდება, სამზარეულოდან უფრო ზუსტად. მიყუჟულია მიკაგე მაცივართან და უყურებს, როგორ ხდება სამზარეულოს გარეთ რაღაცები, ხოლო შიგნით დროა გაჩერებული.
სამზარეულო ლამის გაპიროვნებული აქტორია წიგნში,მიკაგეს მყუდრო იზოლაციის მეტაფორა.
წიგნი ვითარდება მიკაგეს სამყაროში პატარ-პატარა ელემენტების შემოცურების გზით, ისეთების, როგორიცაა
Feb 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Any time I try to read Japanese novels I feel like I'm missing something. In Kitchen, as in the few other Japanese novels I've read, the prose seems flat and spare. I'm beginning to think it's not a question of translation and more a question of a different writing style. Mikage, a young woman, is left alone when her grandmother dies, following the deaths of her parents and grandfather. She ends up being sort of adopted by the Tanabe family, a young man her age and his transsexual (m to f) mothe ...more
Sep 17, 2015 Bắp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Banana Yoshimoto là tác giả văn học mà mình rất thường xuyên giới thiệu cho bạn bè. Văn chương của bà khá gần gũi, nhẹ nhàng nhưng không kém phần day dứt. "Kitchen" là cuốn gây cho mình ấn tượng nhiều nhất. Thực sự thì thứ ấn tượng đầu tiên đối với mình không phải giọng văn, cốt truyện mà là xây dựng những nhân vật hơi "dị" như người đàn ông chuyển giới thành phụ nữ sau khi vợ mất hay cậu trai mặc đồng phục nữ sinh tới trường sau khi bạn gái mất. Rất lạ thường.
Không hiểu sao nhưng mình rất dễ bị
Feb 10, 2013 طَيْف rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
روايتان للكاتبة اليابانية"بنانا يوشيموتو"...بين دفتي كتاب

أما عن روايتها الأولى"مطبخ" فقد لمتها بداية لاختيار العنوان...فذاك الكم الهائل من الحب والحزن والوجع، كان بإمكان الكاتبة أن تؤطره بعنوان أجمل، ولما فكرت بسبب اختياره عنوانا، خطر لي ذاك المكان الذي هو بؤرة الحياة ومركزها في المنزل، وهو المكان الذي يشهد أغلب أنشطتنا اليومية، والذي يرتبط كثيرا بذكرياتنا الحميمية، وهو ما جعل بطلة الرواية "ميكاج" تلجأ له لما ماتت جدتها، وغدت وحيدة، وتجد فيه سلوتها، فتركن إلى دفئه محاوِلةً تجاوز حالة الفقد والحز
May 16, 2016 Mahsa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultural, japan
یوشیموتو نویسندهایه که به زیبایی از حقایق قابل لمس مینویسه؛ شاید قبل از خوندنِ داستانهاش حواستون به اون حقایق نباشه، اما همینکه خطی رو خوندید، همینکه از جمله ای عبور کردید... یه لحظه مکث میکنید. مکث میکنید چون اون جمله رو خوب فهمیدید، چون قبلا با قلبتون لمسش کردید. و لبخند میزنید به درکِ قشنگی که از اون جمله دارید و حالا اون درک به قشنگی روبروی شما بین کلمات جای گرفته.

But I was afraid—terribly afraid—to even hope for such happiness.

تِم آشپزخانه
ماها همه یه مکانِ به خصوص داریم که وقتی اونجا ب
Sigh... Man, I don't know what it is about Banana Yoshimoto novellas, but for some reason they always seem to lose me at the end. This small novella explores themes such as bereavement, motherhood, what really makes a family, love and loss. You know, all that good stuff.

I've read "Goodbye Tsugumi" by Yoshimoto before, and I found the relationships a tad unbelievable, the characters a little forced. I had hoped that this wouldn't be the case with this story, and I was surprised to find that I w
K.D. Absolutely
May 14, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Kitchen (3 stars) is about losing a loved one and finding solace with something and someone. Something here is the kitchen including the food that you cook in there and someone is somebody like you who also lost a loved one and currently trying to move on with his life too. The plot is thin and the storytelling is simple. When this came out in 1988, Japan went "Bananamania" but you have to understand that Japan was also going crazy with Haruki Murakami's 1987 novel, Norwegian Wood and both of th ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: japanese lit fans
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Loved this book, although I was surprised by the sudden, almost terminal end to the main story. This is a book about loss and bereavement and how people adjust or find escape in places or things associated with the person who has gone. Someone very close to me died last suddenly last year after a short illness and this book summarised a lot of what I felt at the time. It also reinforced one of the things that he taught me - hang onto life and live every minute because it's only coming around onc ...more
Jan 16, 2017 Sub_zero rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2017
Llevaba mucho tiempo tras la pista de Banana Yoshimoto y nuestro primer encuentro me ha parecido, como poco, decepcionante. Los escritores japoneses contemporáneos son muy dados a explorar los sentimientos de soledad, abandono y desarraigo que a veces nos sobrevienen, sentimientos que pueden llegar hasta el punto, en algunos casos, de desbordarnos. Sin embargo, creo que Yoshimoto ha tensado los preceptos de su narrativa hasta romper la cuerda. En Kitchen, dividida en dos relatos que componen una ...more
Yi Ly
Jan 20, 2016 Yi Ly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(4.5) Hay libros que llegan en el momento preciso con la historia que tu corazón inconscientemente está esperando. Me ha pasado con este libro.

Me he sentido muy conectada con ambas historias, en especial con Kitchen. He marcado muchas citas y es que ya les dije, ha llegado a mí en el momento exacto.

Libros como éste me confirman lo hermoso que es conocer historias a través de la lectura.

Totalmente recomendable.

PD: Gracias Jess, fue un precioso regalo de cumpleaños. <3
Helvry Sinaga
Dec 22, 2010 Helvry Sinaga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novel karya Banana Yoshimoto terdiri dari dua judul, Kitchen dan Moonlight Shadow. Secara umum, cerita tentang sepasang anak muda yang ditinggal orang terdekat, dan berusaha bangkit dari bayang-bayang kesepian dan rasa kehilangan itu.

Kitchen bercerita tentang seorang gadis muda di Tokyo, Mikage, yang ditinggalkan oleh kematian neneknya. Ia sebatang kara, hingga ia bertemu dengan Yuichi Tanabe di pemakaman neneknya. Yuichi adalah seorang pekerja paruh waktu di toko bunga favorit neneknya.
Banana Yoshimoto likes circles: opposing ideas and feelings that turn round and round until you’re so dizzy that finally you can see clearly, the opposites collapse into each other, and you see they are the same. Melancholy and hope fuse together; pain accompanies joy; love is both the origin of and cure for loneliness. Around and around these feelings go, the only certainty being, of course, how difficult this oscillation makes life, leaving us with no choice but to, as one character says in Ki ...more
Abdyka Wirmon
Apr 23, 2010 Abdyka Wirmon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-for-fun, fiction
Ini sungguh diluar dugaan, sekali lagi aku dibawa hanyut kedalam arus cerita oleh penulis jepang, Pertama Kobe Abe, kemudian Haruki Murakami dan sekarang Banana Yoshimoto, memang nama yang tidak biasa seperti itu pula karyanya.

Sejak halaman pertama aku sudah sadar buku ini akan membawaku kemana, malayang pelan diatas permukaan dan dipertengahannya aku tenggelamkan sampai dasar. aku bisa melihat semua hal dari dasar ini, semua konflik, dilema dan pikiran yang terombang-ambing mencoba menolak rea
Sophie VERStand
"Kitchen" - Banana Yoshimotos Debüt versammelt 3 "long short-stories", die ganz ähnliche Elemente verbinden.
In "Kitchen" und "Vollmond (Kitchen 2)" begegnen wir der jungen Mikage, die bei ihrer Großmutter aufwuchs, diese letztlich auch verliert und dann bei der Familie Tanabe unterkommt.
Dort begegnet sie Yuichi und seiner "Mutter" (die eigentlich sein Vater ist, sich jedoch zum Leben als Frau entschieden hat) und nutzt als Rückzugsort für ihre Innerlichkeit und Träume häufig die Küche, in der s
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Banana Yoshimoto (よしもと ばなな or 吉本 ばなな) is the pen name of Mahoko Yoshimoto (吉本 真秀子), a Japanese contemporary writer. She writes her name in hiragana. (See also 吉本芭娜娜 (Chinese).)

Along with having a famous father, poet Takaaki Yoshimoto, Banana's sister, Haruno Yoiko, is a well-known cartoonist in Japan. Growing up in a liberal family, she learned the value of independence from a young age.

She gradua
More about Banana Yoshimoto...

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“As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won't let my spirit be destroyed.” 269 likes
“People aren't overcome by situations or outside forces. Defeat comes from within.” 198 likes
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