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The Stationmaster

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  29 reviews
·         Book a best seller in Japan (unofficial sales number: 2,190,000 copies) ·         Book won Naoki award for popular fiction in 1997

·         1999 film starred 1970s yakuza film icon Ken Takakura, who won a best actor award at the 1999 Montreal Film Festival for his performance

·         Title film was Japan’s submission to the 72nd Academy Awards for Best Foreign L
Paperback, 200 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by VIZ Media LLC (first published 1997)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  122 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Joseph Spuckler
The Stationmaster by Jiro Asada is a collection of short stories with a common theme of touching miracles. Asada is a former enlisted man in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and now a prolific writer with some seventy novels printed over seventeen years. In the introduction, Margaret Atwood explains that this book sold 2.5 million copies in Japan, a nation of 127 million people. Put into perspective that would equate to 6 million copies in America. That is completely unheard of for a collection ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To combine daily time in all its humble and often harsh detail with the hidden, haunted psyche - how people see themselves from the outside, contrasted with their knowledge of their own wounded inner selves- is a potent achievement. Jirō Asada says that he based much of The Stationmaster on his own life, but in it a great many readers have recognized themselves. And this, perhaps, is the real clue to the popularity of this small but truly remarkable book."
- Excerpt from forward by Margaret Atwo
Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tập hợp bảy truyện ngắn của Jirō Asada về cuộc sống của những con người Nhật. Bảy câu chuyện, bảy cuộc đời khác nhau, nhưng tựu trung lại đều là những giai đoạn khó khăn của cuộc sống. Sự nghiệp. Chồng vợ. Con cái. Ly thân. Tuổi già. Đẩy con người ta đến bờ vực của tuyệt vọng.

Cũng nhắc đến tuyệt vọng. Những năm tháng tôi tồn tại còn ít ỏi quá. Cảm xúc thì có nhiều, khó khăn, buồn tủi tôi cũng từng trải qua, nhưng tuyệt vọng thì tôi chưa bao giờ được nếm. Tôi muốn mình cũng từng kinh qua cảm giác
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the real benefits of NetGalley and publishers promoting books in this medium. The Stationmaster is the first story of a collection of eight short stories under that title. My ARC included a forward by Margaret Atwood as well as the authors own reflections plus a brief Q & A.
The author is Japanese and reads and writes only in his native tongue. Therefore I am so grateful to the work of a translator, Terry Gallagher and Sayuri Kingsbury who have recreated these tales so fluidly
In her introduction to this collection of 8 short stories (which is hugely popular in Japan), Margaret Atwood explains that each of these stories focuses on characters who are 'ordinary' or even lowly, and who experience a miracle of sorts (which sometimes appears in the form of ghosts). This collection was originally published in 1997 but this English translation is only now available.

Each of the stories are a little different from the other - "Love Letter" is unexpectedly touching and sad, "De
Girl with her Head in a Book
Review originally published here:

My short story collection adventure continued this week with a venture to Japan via The Stationmaster. Coming with a glowing introduction from Margaret Atwood, this is an anthology which was awarded the Naoki Prize and sold 2.5 million copies in Japan which given population size is like an equivalent American book selling 6 million. This doesn’t really happen for short fiction, although to be fair I think the form is more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it

It might not be a style the Western World is used to, but having read a few Japanese to English translations of different authors when I lived in Okinawa, I easily related. The Stationmaster is a beautiful story. Having lived in Okinawa, there is a pride Japanese have in their work and their lives. They put their heart and soul into everything they do and certainly Otomatsu is grieving for his life as a stationmaster. With the loss of a wife and child, the
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don’t often read short stories, but the ones in this collection are truly excellent. Jiro Asado is one of Japan’s most popular writers and this volume has been a bestseller – very much, I imagine, largely on the strength of the first story out of the eight, The Stationmaster, which has even had a film made from it – the sort of film you need a big box of tissues for if the trailer is anything to go by…..Be that as it may, it’s a wonderfully simple story, with a touch of magic realism, about a ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rate: 5/5

Chấm điểm cả một cuốn sách vì một truyện ngắn trong đó chạm được tới cảm xúc của mình chắc cũng không phải quá đáng nhỉ?

Thư tình.
Ban đầu tôi nghĩ cũng chỉ là một câu chuyện bên lề nào đó như hầu hết các truyện ngắn khác. Nhưng không. Cang Bạch Lan. Với hai lá thư mà cô để lại cho Gorou, dù tôi không hiểu làm sao cô lại cảm thấy như vậy được, nhưng cảm giác từng câu từng chữ trong ấy là những lời cực kỳ thực lòng, chân thành. Cho nên tôi hiểu tại sao Gorou sau khi đọc thư lại trở nên như
Natapong Nimkarnjana
ชอบการบรรยายสถานที บรรยากาศ การเดินเรือง ทุกอยางเหนภาพตามไปดวยหมดเลย สวนใหญเปนเรืองของความสัมพันธ โดยเฉพาะในครอบครัว เรืองราวแตละเรืองอานจบไปแลวกยังทำใหเรานึกคิดตอไปอีก รวมๆ แลวเรียกไดวา ถูกจริตมาก ...more
โดยสวนตัวแลวชอบเรือง'จดหมายรัก' มากทีสุด
มีเพียงฐานะสามี-ภรรยา จากทะเบียนสมรสทีเชือมตอกันนัน

สวนเรืองอืนๆลวนเลาถึงความตาย และ ผูทีจากไป เชนกันในแงมุมทีหลากหลาย
เชน ใหตัวเอกคลายปมในอดีตทีเจบปวดใน 'ทสึโนะฮาซุ' และ 'เทศกาลโอบอง'
เรืองเดนอยาง 'คนรถไฟ' กสันๆแตงดงามกินใจ
One of the best book to read in this cold winter. Look like I am in love with the book when I see the Vietnamese cover and the picture of the movie based on the second chapter. Every chapter is a unique mystic story which is warm and makes us think and think about the value of life.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories by Japanese author Jiro Asada. He is a well-known and beloved writer in Japan, but this is my first time reading him. These are, for the most part, stories of magic realism; the supernatural (or the imagined?) makes an appearance in several of them. Underlying many of the stories is a feeling of nostalgia and regret. All of them feature characters who are, above all else, ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

My favorites include the fo
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
I received a preview copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

In The Stationmaster, the award-winning Jiro Asada 'revives a time when men lived like true men, proudly fulfilling their responsibilities. People still honored the dignities in life, and lived for those they cared about, in the spirit of samurai. The devotion of these characters to one another is quiet and reserved, not overtly thought of as love, but in a sense it is. So this is a collection of love s
Pretty good--

The overarching theme of this collection of short stories is "heartwarming miracles." True to the theme, many of them are moving, sort of in the way O. Henry's stories make you feel.

My favorites were the title story, "The Stationmaster," "Love Letters," "The Bon Festival," and "Bad Santa." Other stories were just OK, I thought.

What I miss in Asada's later works is his humor. His early works are filled with funny and moving moments whereas his later works are just moving, even calcul
Cathy Beyers
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Melancholic stories with a touch of the supernatural. I took a chance on this, requesting an advance copy on Netgalley and was pleasantly surprised. The collection is apparently a huge succes in Japan and it's easy to understand why. All the protagonists are ordinary people who are in one way or another disappointed with life or missing someone important to them. A bit of magic helps them cope. I haven't read a lot of Japanese contemporary fiction and this collection gives the reader a feel of J ...more
Apr 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2009
Every one of these Jiro Asada stories are inspirational with a slight supernatural twist. And when I say "slight," I mean tangentially slight. The Devil, for example, doesn't bother to show up in his own eponymous story. And Santa Claus doesn't appear in a story called No-Good Santa. Despite the absence of Satan and St. Nick, this is an excellent collection. Here's hoping that more of the author's work gets translated into English soon.

Stark and concisely written (and translated) - and capable of evoking a mood or memory in that snapshot way that only short stories can. This collection, for me, especially feels like seeing into someone's lighted window for a brief moment when your train passes by. My only drawback, although this was a big one for me, was the overall bleakness of each of these worlds. Beautiful but a serious downer.

I received an ecopy from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
May 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I didn't really care for most of the stories in this collection, which was a bit surprising for me considering how popular this collection is in Japan. I enjoyed the title story, but I didn't really care for any of the other stories. Most of them just didn't really go anywhere for me.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
The first short story was beautiful and touching.
As the reading progressed, I realized that each story was very touching, and somewhat depressing.
Well written, the author knows how to pull the heartstrings.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-reread
Everyone we walk by has a story to tell. Everyone we meet carries a hidden burden deep inside. This collection of short stories explores the hidden struggle of life that one can relate to. "Stationmaster" is an exemplary of ordinary people doing ordinary jobs with utmost passion.
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bảy truyện ngắn đều rất đặc sắc, mang đến một sự suy ngẫm về cuộc đời, một cái buồn man mác rất Nhật nhưng cũng có sự lạc quan và gieo hy vọng về tương lai tươi sáng cho người đọc.

Tuy nhiên, bản của Nhã Nam còn hạt sạn về chính tả và tên người Nhật chưa đúng thứ tự cũng gây khó chịu cho mình.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deux très belles histoires, mais terriblement tristes !
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful stories. Fabulous translation.
Cheol Kang
중학교때, 히로스에 료코를 좋아하던 (쌍둥이) 친구때문에 알게 된 작품. 정작 영화에 료코는 30분도 안 나왔던 거 같다.
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, asian, fiction
Atmospheric collection of modern Japanese vignettes dealing with themes such as tradition, loss, and change.
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictions
Terry Mulcahy
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reading. Each story sucked me right in, and held me right through. I even took my time between stories so I wouldn't finish the book too fast.
Lan Tran
rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2013
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Jiro Asada Is the pen name of the Japanese post-modern author Kōjirō Iwato.

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