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Moshi Moshi

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  3,267 ratings  ·  402 reviews
In Moshi-Moshi, Yoshie’s much-loved musician father has died in a suicide pact with an unknown woman. It is only when Yoshie and her mother move to Shimo-kitazawa, a traditional Tokyo neighborhood of narrow streets, quirky shops, and friendly residents that they can finally start to put their painful past behind them. However, despite their attempts to move forward, Yoshie ...more
Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Counterpoint (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,267 ratings  ·  402 reviews

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Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
New Banana!!

In case that doesn't make things clear, I love Banana. I've loved her for many, many books, even though the last few I sort of only loved because I love her, not necessarily because they were the best evar. Moshi moshi is a big step up, I think: It's a really masterful work in its own right, regardless of your track record with the author. It still suffers, as all her books seem to, from some awkwardnesses introduced, I'm nearly positive, by her translator, and could have used a rath
Emily B
It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by this author and there is something unique about the way she writes.

The last 20% of the book the character seems to have a bit of a personality change and gets a bit more exciting, I think I would have preferred the book if she was like that all the way through. Instead I found it a little incongruous.

I also got sort of bored with all the food talk. It seems like the characters didn’t stop eating and I didn’t constantly need to know what they at
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, japan
Moshi Moshi! Say moshi moshi back! SAY IT or you're a ghost

no it's true, ghosts can only say "Moshi" once, which is why Japanese people answer the phone "Moshi moshi". It proves they're not ghosts.

cute ghost

Now you'll understand the title of this book way better, so you're welcome. Because there's a ghost in this book! WoooOOOooOOooo not really, not that kind of ghost, it's more of a Boring Emotional Ghost instead of a Badass Gothic Ghost. Narrator Yoshie's father has been murdered. He fell into
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This response is mostly for people who have read the novel, because I'm interested in others' reactions to certain elements, but if you haven't read it, and I guess if you don't mind lack of plot context and I guess spoilers? then you might get something out of this!

I started this novel off thinking, Oh, wow, it seems like Yoshimoto's matured as a writer and the translation reads smoothly this time around because in the past I had wondered if some of the things that bothered me about Yoshimoto's
Hoda Marmar
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, favorites
First off, what an awesome book cover!
This charming novel embarks the reader on a journey of loss, grief, reconnecting, healing, love, hope, youth, family, and everything in between. I enjoyed every bit of it, and many of its quotes are engraved in my mind/heart. If you love Japanese literary novels which linger on the themes mentioned above, and enjoy psychological and emotional insight to the protagonist, then this is definitely the book for you to savor.
I wish to visit Shimotikazawa now. I re
Anna Luce
/ / / Read more reviews on my blog / / /

There is something idiosyncratic about Yoshimoto's novels. Every time I read something of hers I feel almost comforted by how familiar it all is. Her narrators sound very much like the same person: they are young women prone to navel-gazing yet attuned to their environment (especially nature or their hometown). Moshi Moshi follows Yoshie after the death of her father, a musician and a bit of a free spirit. The way in which he died (he was involved in a sui
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
I was quite enjoying this story of a young woman and her widowed mother putting themselves back together after their father/husband died in a tragic and rather scandalous way, especially the setting, Shimokitazawa, very near where I live in Tokyo. But I bailed at the 50% mark because of the truly awful writing. I assume the translation is largely to blame here, but the prose was making me sick to my stomach.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-the-world
I am not sure why, but Yoshimoto always reminds me of Murakami, maybe it's the descriptions of Tokyo and food that are so pervasive in the authors' books. Although, I don't think this book is as good as Kitchen, I thoroughly enjoyed it. ...more
Mridula Gupta
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
When a daughter loses her father to an accident/suicide, she moves places to find comfort. Shimokitazawa has always fascinated Yocchan and that is where she heads to figure out how to live a life without her father. But whenever she feels that she is close to finding that stare, another layer is added to her life. She meets a few people, who remind her of the horrible truth and to offer advice or comfort. But the answer to all her restlessness and sense of loss lies in acceptance.

'Moshi Moshi' e
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have wanted to read a Banana Yoshimoto book for a long time since one of my friends recommended it. I got 'Moshi Moshi' as a present from one of my friends and I decided to read it this week. This is my second book for #WITMonth.

In 'Moshi Moshi', the narrator Yoshie starts the story by describing the neighbourhood of Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. She quotes a description of Shimokitazawa, that a character gives in a movie. It goes like this :

"The clutter of streets and buildings, which seem to have
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
2015 ended and 2016 started with the my "discovery" of the TV series Sherlock and the works of Banana Yoshimoto. Now, here at the end of 2016, the start of 2017, I found myself reading the latest Banana Yoshimoto during the early evening and (re)watching at night the Sherlock run-up-to-the-new-season marathon on PBS. What I see here are bookends. The most tightly locked bookends I've ever experienced in the world of art. Sherlock. Yoshimoto. Sherlimoto.

The novel is melancholy. Lovely. I want to
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, loved this book.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Love Yoshimoto’s writing, she has a depth of compassion and empathy that I have not found in another writer before, and her writing evokes a range of different emotions in me, and that’s exactly what I want and need when I am reading purely to become more aware of the human spirit. She handles the complex subject of grief from a mature and enlightened sensibility as if she has fully experienced it herself, it seems to be a theme that she keeps returning to in her books as a previous one I read ...more
Milky Mixer
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been hanging on the line waiting for a new Banana Yoshimoto novel to be translated to English since 2011's "The Lake." At last, Counterpoint Press has picked up and answered sweetly: "Moshi Moshi!"

Banana is my favorite author. When I read a Banana book, I feel like I slow down, sometimes rereading paragraphs over and over just to savor her stories like a warm dessert. Critics complain that her writing can be unrealistic, that "people don't talk like that," but I think her characters move th
Katie Lumsden
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Banana Yoshimoto's writing is beautiful as always. I especially liked the relationship between the central character and her mother, and the way it explores the character's relationship with food and cooking. I found aspects of the romantic plot line a little irritating, but for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed this. ...more
Wendy Wagner
Is there such thing as a cozy-literary? Because that's exactly what this book is--super cozy. It's a quiet little story about a young woman coping with her father's death by engaging with her community. And it's a great community, packed with cute little bars and charming restaurants. This is probably the perfect novel to read on a rainy day while sitting in your favorite coffee shop. ...more
David J

The Japanese say moshi twice when answering the phone; if it’s only said once, then you’re actually talking to a ghost.

* * *

After Kitchen and Lizard, Moshi Moshi is my third book by Banana Yoshimoto and she provides everything I expect from her writing: complex female characters, a quiet yet poetic and meaningful use of language, and a seemingly simple and everyday storyline that’s somehow magical. After Yocchan’s (Yoshie) father dies in a suicide pact with an unknown woman, she and her mothe
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It actually took me a while to finish reading this, but i kept feeling drawn to yoshie and her story.

It has been a long time since i felt so much after reading a book, feeling sad because it is over. The feelings, as yoshimoto herself mentioned in the author's note, are genuine. There is so much to be pondered upon and every sliver of emotion rings true. The confusion and turmoil Yoshie feels seem credible, and her journey toward finding peace is very uplifting. This is a favorite of her books e
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a playlist of one song for the entire duration of the book: 優しい人 – Kenshi Yonezu

The book tells a story about a girl who loses her father in a love murder-suicide, a form of death people probably never expect. However it is so much more than just a girl dealing with the pain of losing her father, it is also about both her and her mother's attempts at moving on despite the horrible circumstances surrounding the death as well as finding who they are beyond the lives that they have known.

At th
I enjoyed this novel much more than I ever anticipated. For a book about a character stranded in grief it felt incredibly warm and idealistic.


Yoshi moves to Shimokitazawa to work in her favorite bistro escaping her family home in Meguro after the shocking death of her father. Found to have died in a suicide pact with another woman, Yoshi is plagued by his loss and confusion between the beloved father she thought she knew, and the revelation that she did not know him quite that well.

In her e
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A woman in her 20s moves to a quirky town while grieving the sudden (and somewhat mysterious) death of her father. She throws herself into her work at a restaurant with a chef she admires, reconnects with friends and family, and... well, generally overthinks everything while processing his loss. She often reflects on how she feels stifled or smothered by loss and grief; for me, the smothering aspect was the heavy-handed internal dialogue. Every action or observation seems to provoke nostalgia or ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-literature
A book about the everyday life of a young woman whose father has tragically and strangely died, as she begins to come to grips with her loss. Her mother comes to live with her to begin a new life. The young woman works in a restaurant and spends a lot of time eating out and going to coffee shops, tea houses and bars, and there is a great deal of description of these places

This annoyed me, as I can't afford to eat out every night at decent restaurants in New York. But in the afterword Yoshimoto s
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-lit
Yoshimoto sensei is able to beautifully translate certain rare emotions into a feeling of past familiarity which is very tough to do so. Even her description of places makes you nostalgic for cafés or apartments that you’ve never been to before. Most of her work surrounds death and loss, but there’s a sense of closure with the way she describes grief and how to deal with it. Her words gave me a sense of clarity especially after losing a beloved one recently. I hope she continues to bless us with ...more
This was such a moving, lovely story but it fell apart for me at the end - so, it ends up with a 3 and not a 4.
Misha Mathew
"I just want to rebel completely against everything in society that beat it into me that life would turn out okay if I only did the right things."

Well, that was a disappointment. I had loved Yoshimoto's Kitchen, which felt so alive, warm with emotions jumping off the pages despite being a quiet, subtle little novel. Moshi Moshi, on the other hand, seemed a bit 'dead'. 

Yoshie's father dies in a murder-suicide leaving her mother and herself devastated. She keeps on coming back to her father's moti
What I liked most was the picture start and end to the novel, to be honest with you. I think it gives you a nice zoom-in and zoom-out effect of this writer's affairs.

Not to mention all the incidental Japanese honorifics incurred throughout the speaking between the characters. I don't often see that, and that was all of what I learned when I was a chibi kodomo, a little kid.

YIKES! The actual plot? That was really scary. I don't know about that part. Maybe I should reduce my rating a bit... Basica
Heidi Burkhart
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably at least five years thought has gone into deciding to read a novel by Yoshimoto. I was attracted by her books, but also wondered about her pen name "Banana." How could I take someone seriously who decided to call herself Banana? I am not saying that it makes sense or is logical but that is how my mind was working.

What a delightful surprise to absolutely love this book and Yoshimoto's writing style. I felt that she provides an open window into the Japanese manner of duty, goals, family,
Shiva Subbiaah kumar
I have mostly read Murakami's and this is the first im reading Banana Yoshimoto work.

Plot: Moshi Moshi begins with the mysterious death of Yoshie's father and how she and her mother handle the grief. At first out of her grief doesn't let her move on while there are also more revelations to her father's death.

Review: It had some not ok parts but overall it was a good read. The was narration made it feel so real. It was not just about the narrator's grief or mourning but the story also captur
John Armstrong
I've had my eye on Banana Yoshimoto for a while and read the blurbs and reviews but didn't succumb until this book. I chose it as an airplane read and read it while I was flying from Boston to SFO. It was cozy and page-turnery and kept me happy but in the end I decided it didn't deliver on its promise - ghost story? coming of age story? It seemed to stop short of being either one. Not bad by any means but not great either. ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book is beautifully written. Poignant scenes between mother and daughter and friends, simple and fitting dialogue, and remarkable insight into the mind of someone grieving. The personal journeys of the characters and the bit of an unsolved mystery regarding the father is touching. I did think the love interest turned out a little weird, but overall the tone of healing and nostalgia in this book is fantastic.
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Japanese Literature: 6/17 Discussion for Moshi Moshi 14 72 Aug 05, 2018 08:21AM  

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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

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