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Der Himmel ist blau, die Erde ist weiß
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Der Himmel ist blau, die Erde ist weiß

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,161 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Tsukiko ist achtunddreißig und lebt allein. Zur Liebe, glaubt sie, sei sie nicht begabt. Da trifft sie in einer Kneipe ihren alten Japanisch-Lehrer wieder, den sie nur den Sensei nennt. Auch er lebt allein, in einer etwas verwahrlosten Wohnung, wo er merkwürdige Gegenstände sammelt: ausgediente Keramikkännchen, in denen die Bahn früher den Tee ausschenkte, oder verbrauchte ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published 2008 by Hanser Belletristik (first published 2001)
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This book reads like Japanese art. Clean lines, spare and uncluttered. Or sparse, haiku as opposed to Shakespeare. The story is slight and the book is short. I found it somewhat cinematic - chapters as scenes - in Santuro's bar, at Sansei's, on the island, mushroom hunting, etc. Each an experimental and incremental step in a casual relationship full of stops and starts.

There's not a lot of explanation to why they are the people they are. They are loners who do not seek out friendships, though th
Sian Lile-Pastore
oh. really sweet, tender and gentle book. There isn't much of a plot (I like no plot) just all about a relationship between two mismatched people and lots of lovely passages about japanese food and drink - tofu, miso, salted shallots, edame, beer and sake.
really beautiful.
In una giornata fate tutto: lo comprate, lo leggete e voilà..lo dimenticate.

Ecco un libro che mi ha deluso profondamente.
A sentir la quarta di copertina racconterebbe di un’insolita e delicata storia d’amore intrecciata con tradizioni lontane e ricette culinarie giapponesi.
Chi pensa di immergersi nella versione nipponica di “Chocolat” si sbaglia di grosso.
E mi sbagliavo anche io a rincorrere questo libro per mesi, perennemente in prestito in biblioteca e sempre esaurito in libreria.

E’ pur vero
Dec 29, 2014 Antonomasia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonomasia by: Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist 2014
Shelves: japan, 2014, iffp, decade-2010s
Book 2200.

Not as twee as it looks. The heroine is about 15 years older than the flying manic pixie dreamgirl on the cover, she gets drunk a lot, works stupidly long hours, has arguments about sports and forgets to clean a pair of muddy shoes for weeks. Out of the characters in the limited number of Japanese novels I've read, Tsukiko is furthest from the traditional idea of a Japanese woman, though she doesn't seem to have set out to reject it; she isn't intellectual, she simply sees herself as n
La literatura japonesa tiene algo especial. Tanto sus paisajes como su sensibilidad a la hora de tratar situaciones y personajes son únicos. Mediante una prosa sobria pero profunda, Hiromi Kawakami nos cuenta, como reza el subtítulo, una historia de amor. Pero el corazón y el tema principal de la novela es la soledad en la que están imbuidos los dos personajes principales.

Para llenar el vacío que rodea su vida, Tsukiko acude a su bar a beber sake y cerveza. Un día se da cuenta de que el hombre m
Gorgeous + delicate novel with quiet, minimal writing that also manages to be full of warmth (and delicious food). Like that beautiful cover picture it has a dreamlike floatiness. In the end I found it all very touching, sweet and sad.
#JapaneseJune Book #1.

I purchased Strange Weather in Tokyo on my Kindle for a mere 99p, and for that reason I am glad that I read this book. However, if I'd had to pay a normal Kindle price, I would have been a little bit miffed. Although this was a quick and easy read, I didn't feel very satisfied upon finishing it. I just feel ambivalence.

The story is told from the perspective of a woman in her late 30s named Tsukiko, who encounters an old teacher of hers at her local bar one night. From that
Was für eine schöne Liebesgeschichte. Selten liest man so ein ruhiges Buch, in dem so wenig geschieht und genießt trotzdem jede einzelne Seiten.

Tsukiko ist 38 Jahre alt und etwas einsam. Sie arbeitet viel, weiß jedoch in ihrer Freizeit wenig mit sich anzufangen. Sie glaubt, dass sie für die Liebe kein Talent hat. Mit trockenem Humor und etwas Verbitterung erzählt sie von sich und ihrem Leben.

Eines Tages trifft sie in ihrer Stammkneipe ihren fast doppelt so alten ehemaligen Japanisch Lehrer, sie
Non capisco onestamente tutto l'entusiasmo per questo libro (che ho acquistato solo perché in offerta su Amazon in formato kindle qualche giorno fa) che io ho trovato piuttosto insipido.

La storia racconta di una quasi quarantenne che di anni sembra ne abbia una ventina, dal comportamento, che lavora, non ha amici, vede la famiglia una volta l'anno e basta e avanza, la sera cena e beve nei bar da sola, che ritrova, proprio in uno di questi locali, il suo professore di giapponese del liceo. I due
Reading The Briefcase, from the vantage point of one who has very little experience with Japanese fiction, it seems to me that it’s a bit like Japanese food. You either like its elegant simplicity and the artful way that very restrained flavours are arranged, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you may think this book rather lacking, in the way that you might prefer the robust flavours of Italian cookery or the complex artistry of French cuisine.

Well, I quite liked The Briefcase. It’s been longliste
Here’s a challenge for you, write a novel about loneliness without becoming boring. Write one about emptiness without being melancholy, how about deep love without sentimentality? “the briefcase” is a moving sparse and deeply emotional tale of loneliness, emptiness and love but in a style that that is removed and scant enough to elicit a sadness that lingers long after the final page has been read.

This is the story of Tsukiko, in her late 30’s, a loner and a food aficionado who crosses paths wit
The 37 year-old narrator of this story, Tsukiko believes she is not cut out for love. One day she chances upon her former Japanese teacher in a bar. Throughout the novel Tsukiko refers to the 67 year-old man as «Sensei» which in Japanese means teacher or master. Both Tsukiko and Sensei are loners and neither actively seek friendship or company. Tsukiko is unconventional, enjoys solitary pursuits and is out of sync with life. Sensei, who also lives alone, is rather old-fashioned and slightly peda ...more
This book is just wonderful. It's quite short at 192 pages and I read it in a little over a day because I just couldn't put it down. It follows Tsukiko and her former teacher, whom she calls 'Sensei', after a chance encounter leads them to form an unlikely friendship. Sensei is much older than Tsukiko but as they are both consumed by loneliness they begin to seek comfort from their time spent together. It isn't long before Tsukiko begins to question her true feelings for Sensei, and the story ex ...more
Victor Alejo
A pesar de que no soy muy fanático a este tipo de historias, Hiromi Kawakami, sin duda, sabe como narrarlas. El libro es una ventana al ritualismo cotidiano de los japoneses en todos los aspectos de su vida (incluso los emocionales), su sobriedad en los gestos y acciones y su compromiso milenario en guardar las formas y las apariencias.

Los personajes y la relación que surge entre ellos es profunda y poco corriente: unas cuantas brechas generacionales que, sin embargo, se ven salvadas por la emp
A golden years friendship unfolds in Japan

A gentle courtship plays out in the golden years of life. Tsukiko in middle age happens to meet her Japanese teacher from secondry school, Harutsuna Matsumoto – Sensei – and it is their unfolding circular dance of growing friendship that is at the heart of this short, 2 hour read. It is gentle and philosophical, as they arrange encounters and finally “dates”; it is leisurely at times, intense at others, as they forage for mushrooms, go out to an island,
‘De tas van de leraar’ verscheen in 2001 en werd in Japan bekroond met de prestigieuze Tanizaki-prijs. In 2009 werd de Nederlandse vertaling gepubliceerd.
Het verhaal is simpel: Tsukiko, de 37-jarige vertelster, ‘vol overtuiging besluiteloos’, leeft alleen, eet alleen, drinkt alleen. Tot ze op een dag aan de bar bij Satoru tonijn met natto, fijngehakte lotuswortel en gezouten sjalotjes bestelt en de oudere heer naast haar op vrijwel hetzelfde moment precies hetzelfde. ‘Hm, die houdt van dezelfde
Hiromi Kawakami's Strange Weather in Tokyo (titled The Briefcase in the US, where it was published in 2012) is a bittersweet love story between a 30-something woman and an older man, which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Prize in 2012 and has just been longlisted for the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

But this is no typical romance: Tsukiko, an office worker, spends much of her spare time drinking beer and saké in a local bar, which is where she notices a man, about 30 years her senior
Se pide al honorable público que indique con la manita levantada la existencia de una novela más sosa que la que nos ocupa. Va a ser difícil. Argumentarán algunos que la literatura japonesa es muy sutil y bla, bla, bla. Que sí, tendrán razón, pero no es menos cierto que el soserío es un concepto universal y los japos no van a ser los únicos vacunados contra él. Kawabata (otro con el que tuve un mal tropiezo inicial) es sutil, pero al menos escribe bien. Esta chica, nuestra amiga autora, escribe ...more
not a book for everyone, for sure. you have to like slightly odd japanese fiction.

this one is about a young-ish woman (38) who falls for a retired former teacher (sensei). not quite a may/december romance--maybe august/december.

i alas cannot read japanese, so i don't know whether the oddball is a common character in the whole of japanese literature. in japanese-lit-in-translation, there are so many oddballs one could be forgiven for believing that the entire nation is just one very big, polite a
Hiromi Kawakami's The Briefcase was our 'readalong' for January in Japan. Kawakami isn't an author I had read or heard of before this event, so I was excited to get started. I have always been a bit more partial to modern Japanese literature compared to, especially, pre-WWII literature (which also has its charm, of course). Plus, The Briefcase was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and rightfully so in my opinion!

I enjoyed the pace of the book. The book starts out with seemingly rando
Feb 01, 2010 Núria rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans incondicionales de lo peor de Isabel Coixet
'El cielo es azul, la tierra es blanca' ha sido como la gota que colma el vaso. Ya me he encontrado antes con libros que tienen esa sensibilidad que se puede comprar en el supermercado en cómodos paquetes de un quilo y con el 25% gratis, pero esta vez realmente me ha acabado la paciencia. No tengo nada en contra de los libros que lo intentan y fracasan. Me pueden no gustar pero difícilmente los odiaré. En cambio, siempre odiaré un libro que ni siquiera intente ser original y/o contarnos algo per ...more
One of those books that are a pleasure to read, that you want to keep going on and on.

As many Japanese books, it is not really a continuous thread, but a set of images, vignettes, that you have to assemble in your own story. In this case the characters are both commonplace and unique, initially joined by their drinking, but then going much deeper. In a way this could be a great advertisement for good bars, and the people that meet there. But it is much more than that. It highlights also the diff
sí, lo confieso, me declaro una enamorada de la literatura japonesa.
tenía desde hace tiempo pendiente este libro y al ver los comentarios tan variados, dudaba sobre él, y no sé si darle cinco estrellas es excesivo, pero me ha dejado una lágrima y eso dice mucho, quizás por su tiempo, por su protagonista Tsukiko (un poco de mí encuentro en ella), por esa soledad, por el sentido de sentirse bien al lado de alguien sólo con su compañía y sin pedir nada más. en resumen, me ha encantado
I don't really know what to say about this book, it was a weird book, but not a bad book. It had the same flare as almost all Japanese books, I don't know if it's the translation but it's ver clean, concise, and in a sense, sharp. The words are just, just (it's very hard to describe), so simple, but the plot is just the opposite. This story was no different, it followed the story of the relationship two mismatched people, a school teacher, and an ex-student, and lots and lots of beer.

Overall, i
i cried when i finished this book, which is neither here nor there, i know. i suppose it's because nothing about this book strikes me as manipulative; it's not sentimental or "romantic" in the sense of what's typically published and sold under the genre, yet all the common elements are there: thirty-something lonely woman meets a man and falls in love. plot twist: he's much older, and was her former teacher. it's just rare to read a story about the dissolution of a carefully-constructed urban al ...more
Kris Holt
'Strange Weather in Tokyo' is billed as a gentle love story about two lost souls who discover one another against a backdrop of sake bars and walks through the countryside around Tokyo. One of Norwich Writers Centre's 2014 Summer Reads, it shares a place with such illustrious company as Ivan Vladislavic's 'Double Negative'.

Young office worker Tsukiko has little spare time and no close relationships with friends or family. What time she does have is spent in the bars and restaurants of her home c
After finishing up Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint (see review)I felt a need for something a little (a lot?) more subtle. And nobody does "subtle" like the Japanese.

Hiromi Kawakami's second novel, The Briefcase, tells the tale of 37 year old Tsukiko Omachi's "relationship" with her former teacher (she still calls him Sensei), 30 years her senior. They sometimes frequently, sometimes infrequently, meet up in a local bar, drink sake and chilled beer while tasting various tofu and seafood dishes,
This is the story of an unusual relationship between Tsukiko and a man that used to be her teacher, which is why he is referred to as Sensei. It's a story that fits well into the "slice of life" category, I would say. We follow their - in particular Tsukiko because it's told from her perspective - lives, from the time of their "first" encounter, or rather the encounter that changes their relationship. Rather than having a linear structure, it's more like glimpses of memories and moments that sha ...more
Cheryl Brown
Ah hmmmmm gosh. My colleague would and will love the descriptions of Japanese food, and the heroine is indeed uniquely quirky. I kind of liked the slow unfolding but hmmmmm honestly I got sick of the food descriptions and the endless drinking.

Someone with an ear, eye and heart more sensitive to Japanese culture would enjoy this book.

I seem to be better at wallowing in horror at the lives of the Irish during the early 20th century along with Sebastian Barry, or the variety of lives presented by T
Rikke Andrup Jensen
En meget anderledes bog i forhold til hvad jeg ellers plejer at læse, og det er sundt en gang imellem at prøve noget nyt.

Selv om jeg måske ikke jubler rundt i stuen efter at have læst bogen, så har den alligevel gjort noget for mig. Den har rørt ved en masse følelser, den har åbnet mine øjne for respekt og ærbødighed og så har den vist mig en masse om en meget anderledes kultur end jeg er vant til.

Dét er dybe følelser, som en krimi eller fantasy aldrig ville formå og netop derfor rummer denne ro
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“I, on the other hand, still might not be considered a proper adult. I had been very grown-up in primary school. But as I continued through secondary school, I in fact became less grown-up. And then as the years passed, I turned into quite a childlike person. I suppose I just wasn't able to ally myself with time.” 8 likes
“even a cracked pot has a lid that fits.” 3 likes
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