Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Der Himmel ist blau, die Erde ist weiß” as Want to Read:
Der Himmel ist blau, die Erde ist weiß
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Der Himmel ist blau, die Erde ist weiß

by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,733 ratings  ·  250 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Der Himmel ist blau, die Erde ist weiß, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Der Himmel ist blau, die Erde ist weiß

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mmars
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
...more
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.
Noce
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
...more
Antonomasia
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
...more
Oscar
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
...more
Bert
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.
Joana
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
...more
Lisa
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
...more
Tonymess
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
...more
Victor
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
...more
Myriam
‘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
...more
Charlotte
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
Kimbofo
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
...more
Bieiris
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
Ryandake
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
...more
Carola
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
...more
Núria
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
Psychophant
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
...more
Badb
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
subashini
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
...more
Kurt
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,
...more
Nayu
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
...more
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
...more
JoV
Tsukiko is 37, living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’ (teacher in Japanese, real name: Mr. Harutsuna Matsumoto), in a Satora bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower.

After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, always without prior appointments. As the seasons pass – from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms – Tsukiko and Sensei come to d
...more
Coral Davies
A subtle, touching and irrevocably beautiful little book about the tenous love that blossoms after the chance meeting of a student and her teacher over warm sake and bar snacks.

This tale is sensitively told, theres nothing graphic or sleazy about the relationship that developes. Its an honest and stark reflection of Japanese society while also being a window into the minds of two very normal individuals who form a bond that deftly ignores the waning years between them. Its not rushed, its not f
...more
Sarah
I got this book free through Goodreads First Reads.

Being interested in the Japanese language and culture I was pleased to have won a book by a Japanese author. I didn't quite know what to expect. It turned out to be a very enjoyable read.

The book explores the relationship between a woman and her former high school teacher. It takes a meandering path through mundane events, numerous bottles of sake in a bar, and the odd day trip. It does feel very Japanese: quite slow paced like an old black-and
...more
Lyne
Tsukiko rencontre par hasard, dans le café où elle va boire un verre tous les soirs après son travail, son ancien professeur de japonais. Elle ne le dit pas, mais elle est, semble-t-il, une célibataire endurcie ; quant à lui, il est veuf depuis de longues années. Et c'est insensiblement, presque à leur coeur
Défendant, qu'au fil des rencontres les liens se resserrent entre eux. Des rencontres, il y en a beaucoup. Le livre choisit de n'en raconter qu'une
Douzaine, chacune comme un récit à part. Ces
...more
David
This is a fascinating little book about a 30 something woman, very lonely and borderline alcoholic, and a 60 something man, a former teacher of hers, who appears to be a widower, with a son he appears to have no contact with, who is also lonely and a borderline alcoholic and borderline OCD like OCD....the story is told by the woman's and what is so amazing to me is how the author gets you to care about these to people and hope that their relationship works out for the best for both of them...I w ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Hunting Gun
  • The Gate
  • From the Fatherland with Love
  • The Changeling
  • The Summer of the Ubume
  • The Wild Geese
  • Diary of a Mad Old Man
  • The Waiting Years
  • Twinkle Twinkle
  • Inspector Imanishi Investigates
  • Villain
  • Appel du pied
  • One Man's Justice
  • The Diving Pool: Three Novellas
  • The Lake
  • Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale
  • The Setting Sun
  • Strangers
Manazuru Herr Nakano und die Frauen Algo que brilla como el mar Nadepnęłam na węża Bis nächstes Jahr im Frühling

Share This Book

“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.” 6 likes
“If the love is true, then treat it the same way you would plant - feed it, protect it from the elements - you must do absolutely everything you can. But if it isn't true, then it's best to just let it wither on the vine.” 1 likes
More quotes…