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The Counterfeiter and Other Stories

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  188 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Alternative cover edition here.

These three short stories, The Counterfeiter, Obasute, and The Full Moon, explore the roles of loneliness, compassion, beauty, and forgiveness in day-to-day life in Japan, all within the context of the Buddhist-influenced notion of inescapable predestination.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 3rd 2000 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 1949)
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(showing 1-30 of 404)
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Jim
Apr 17, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had read the main story, "Life of a Counterfeiter," in another edition and remember loving it. A man is commissioned to write the biography of a beloved painter named Onuki Keigaku, but over the year gets sidetracked by the life of his onetime friend, Hara Hosen, who was caught counterfeiting Onuki's work. The narrator follows the threads that remain to Hara's life, and discovers that he ended his life making illegal fireworks. He blew off three of his fingers in an accident with gunpowder, an ...more
Nafiza
Jul 20, 2015 Nafiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Yasushi Inoue title but it will definitely not be my last. Life of a Counterfeiter is a collection of three short stories including the titular story, “Reeds,” and “Mr. Goodall’s Gloves.” All three stories are excellent and go a long way in establishing the kind of storyteller Mr. Inoue is. There is a certain stream of consciousness-esque element to these stories that I really liked. In Life of a Counterfeiter the main character is supposed to be a biographer of a famous painte ...more
Lisa
Late last year, I found myself unable to resist the tantalising reviews at Winston’s Dad and JacquiWine’s Journal, and so I lashed out and bought myself a subscription to Pushkin Press. The first title arrived today…

It’s a selection of three short stories by Japanese author Yasushi Inoue (1907-1991) but the story that gives the selection its name is at 82 pages by far the longest. Life of a Counterfeiter is ostensibly about a journalist’s failure to fulfil a commission to write a biography of a
...more
Cleopatra
Oct 25, 2013 Cleopatra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ιαπωνική λογοτεχνία στα καλύτερά της, οι ιστορίες είναι αρκετά αργές, εσωτερικές και γεμάτες αντικρουόμενα συναισθήματα και σκέψεις. Η πλοκή στους Ιάπωνες παίζει δευτερεύοντα ρόλο (ιδίως στους κλασικούς) ωστόσο προσωπικά με κεντρίζει η εσωτερικότητα της γραφής τους, η ακινησία και η διακριτικότητά τους, ακόμα κι αν περιγράφουν τη φαυλότητα της ανθρώπινης φύσης.
Nikmaack
Nov 17, 2015 Nikmaack rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gave up on this book. Maybe if I was in a better mood I could have gotten into this. But some of the stories just take forever to get started, and are so Japanese that it's almost impossible to follow without a solid knowledge of Japanese history and culture.

For example, the story REEDS is little more than fragments of memories listed one after the other. Very subtle and with some great imagery, but if you're not in the right head space, incredibly pointless and tedious.

Once I remember this, a
...more
David Stewart
Jan 16, 2016 David Stewart rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I read The Counterfeiter over the better part of a day. It’s a short read at a mere 128 pages, and it’s a book of short stories. It’s divided up into three sections, with the title story, The Counterfeiter, taking up most of the book’s real estate. Obasute and The Full Moon are shorter, and constitute the back half of the book. I’ll take this story by story, but it’s not a huge book, nor an intense read, so this review may run a little short.

The Counterfeiter is far and away the strongest and mo
...more
Cippi
Ada 3 cerita pendek di dalam kompilasi karya penulis legendaris Jepang ini; The Counterfeiter, Obasute, dan Full Moon. Boleh dikatakan bahwa gaya bercerita Yasushi Inoue sangat detil, deskriptif habis, dan melibatkan emosi yang mendalam terhadap segala unsur yang terkait dengan cerita. Gaya serupa ini dapat ditemukan pada karya-karya penulis kaliber, seperti Ernest Hemingway dan O'Henry. Bedanya, karya Yasushi Inoue lebih mudah dibaca daripada punya Ernest Hemingway (tolong! Susah bgt). Pengalam ...more
Sunjay
Jan 26, 2016 Sunjay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never been to Japan, but my understanding of the country and its culture is based on Western stereotypes of conformist company men who toe the line and abhor individuality. How lovely then to stumble across this slim volume of stories that completely torpedo this orientalist understanding. Inoue's humanity and empathy for the wayward individuals he documents in these stories shows wisdom and understanding of human failings. A true psychological treat in attempting to understand one's fell ...more
Greg
Jun 23, 2016 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a little hard to appreciate without a Japanese cultural sensibility. The first story is great - the narrative and the language are both entrancing, but each of the three stories gets more obscure and disassociated from a Western perspective. Enjoy if you choose!
Sara Emotionally
Feb 02, 2015 Sara Emotionally rated it liked it
Yasushi brilla anche in questa raccolta di tre racconti per delicatezza e cura nella descrizione dei dettagli. Il primo dei tre racconti dà il titolo a tutto il libro. La narrazione è affascinante e magica.
Erica
Feb 01, 2009 Erica rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Three minarets - the most memorable from each: an old man attempts to create a firework which mimics the color of a bell flower, the thought of which disturbs the narrator's wife; A man imagines the discussion he'd have with his mother if he were to abandon her on the top of a mountain in her old age, in the scene he imagines carrying her on his back, a little old, but spicey woman; and a man suceeds his boss triumphantly but slowly finds his life mimicking his, the position overpowering the per ...more
Kimley
Jun 30, 2009 Kimley rated it liked it
A slim volume comprised of three short stories all taking place in post-war Japan. All the stories start out promisingly enough. The first is the story of a writer who is contracted to write a biography of a famous painter and instead becomes obsessed with the man who forged his paintings. The second story is about a young man who can't stop thinking about an old folk tale where the elderly are abandoned on a mountain and the last story deals with the inevitable disposability of humans in the mo ...more
Sweetdhee
Jan 16, 2011 Sweetdhee rated it liked it
Shelves: punya, bahasa-inggris
nemu buku ini entah di PBJ entah di IBF 2009
ada Periplus yang ngeluarin dua kotak full buku obralan
akhirnya nyamber Final Martyrs, Decay of an Angel, sama buku ini

agak bingung sama judulnya yang bilang "and other stories" soalnya ini buku isinya cuma cerita counterfeiter doank..
apa karena itu harganya jadi 5000 ya?
karena mustinya ada cerita-cerita lain yang ga kecetak di buku ini?
whuehehehehehe

ceritanya keren
tentang seorang penulis yang diminta membuat biografi dari seorang pelukis terkenal tapi
...more
Erika Schoeps
May 30, 2013 Erika Schoeps rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. This little book of short stories is elegant and sweet. The stories aren't very captivating in themselves, but they way they are written is what keeps you captivated. The focus is introspective, mostly on thoughts, feelings, symbols, and themes. The beauty of the writing is shown in the intelligent juxtaposition of images, symbols, and themes. These stories didn't create intense feelings of drama and passion, but they relaxed me and made me think. This is a very good little book for s ...more
Kris
Apr 29, 2015 Kris rated it liked it
Very quiet and keenly observed, but I never felt engaged.
Diana
Jan 10, 2014 Diana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Noiosetto, sicuramente il racconto più interessante è il primo che da il titolo al libro. Il terzo che parla dell'ambiente di lavoro non mi è piaciuto proprio.
Eric
Jul 06, 2007 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The charms of yet another famous Japanese writer mostly escape me. Perhaps it's what the translator describes as "the lack of precision in the Japanese language." Perhaps I'm not getting it. The themes of these 3 stories are are interesting: identity, family ties, non-family ties. But the writing is kind of clunky.
Rick
Jan 13, 2008 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The three stories in The Counterfeiter and Other Stories are interesting and worth reading. A drawback, however, is that they were selected to appeal to the “Western tastes” of 1965, and they are not helped by Leon Picon’s chunky, dated, and unidiomatic translation.
Eadweard
I understand that the author is better known for his historical fiction, well, these stories were not that, but they were enjoyable. I'd like to read more of his work in the future.
Sae-chan
Jan 19, 2011 Sae-chan rated it liked it
Shelves: japanese-writers
What an ugly font.
Loneliness is really the issue here. Nobody will ever understand anybody.
One needs to be alone- at the very end, who aren't. But one needs not to be lonely.
Atara
Jun 28, 2015 Atara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5
Enjoyed the first story, the second a bit less, and the third (while the shortest, dragged on the most without much meaning) the least.
Lizzy
Jun 17, 2009 Lizzy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
The first story was wonderful and I would have loved it alone as a short or as a full length novel. The next two stories just paled in comparison.
Ametista
Jul 30, 2012 Ametista rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, giappone
Noioso. Probabilmente me ne dimenticherò presto.
Il racconto che ho gradito rispetto agli altri è "Obasuté", per il senso di tristezza e di dolore.
Janina
Prose poétique d'une lecture reposante. La description des personnages et des lieux est fine et sensible.
Eben
Eben marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2016
Onneli
Onneli rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2016
Brando
Brando marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Catherine
Catherine marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
Arjun Sangamnerkar
Arjun Sangamnerkar rated it really liked it
Aug 06, 2016
Olli-pekka Jauhiainen
Olli-pekka Jauhiainen rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2016
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Yasushi Inoue (井上靖) was a Japanese writer whose range of genres included poetry, essays, short fiction, and novels.

Inoue is famous for his serious historical fiction of ancient Japan and the Asian continent, including Wind and Waves, Tun-huang, and Confucius, but his work also included semi-autobiographical novels and short fiction of great humor, pathos, and wisdom like Shirobamba and Asunaro Mo
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