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A Riot of Goldfish
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A Riot of Goldfish

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  134 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In early 20th-century Japan, the son of lower-class goldfish sellers falls in love with the beautiful daughter of his rich patron. After he is sent away to study the science of goldfish breeding, with strict orders to return and make his patron's fortune, he vows to devote his life to producing one ideal, perfect goldfish specimen to reflect his loved-one's beauty. This po ...more
Paperback, 113 pages
Published 2010 by Hesperus Press
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  134 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ชอบบบ ชอบพลอตและวิธีการบรรยายฉากตางๆ ของเรืองนีมาก

***สปอย*** มะตะอิจิ เดกหนุมในครอบครัวตีนเขาทีประกอบกิจการเพาะพันธุปลาทอง ไดรับการอุปการะทางการศึกษาจากครอบครัวคนรวยบนยอดเขาใหเรียนตอระดับมหาลัยเพือทำวิจัยเกียวกับการเพาะพันธุปลาทองชันดี เนืองจากธุรกิจปลาทองกำลังเติบโตอยางมากในญีปุนชวงกอนสงคราม

มะตะอิจิเกิดความรูสึกกึงรักกึงชังตอลูกสาวคนเดียวของครอบครัวบนยอดเขา หญิงสาวผูคลังไคลในปลาทองเหมือนกับตัวเขาเอง ในขณะทีมะตะอิจิเพียรเขียนจดหมายไปหาเธอ เปรียบเปรยตัวเธอกับหญิงอืนทีเขาสัมพันธดวย หญิงสาวกลับตอบ
Smiley (aka umberto)
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, japan
Reading Kanoko Okamoto's "A Riot of Goldfish" was something semi-romantic and sentimental due to her country plot depicting the relationship between Mataichi, a low-class goldfish breeder, and Masako, a beautiful lady living with a wealthy father in the house on the cliff in a valley in the central Yamanote area of Tokyo. Eventually, Teizo (Masako's father) talked to Sojuro (Mataichi's father) and Mataichi agreed to study further on goldfish breeding under Teizo's tuition support.

They meet occa
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars

A Riot of Goldfish contains two novella’s where men are the main characters. Both A Riot of Goldfish and it’s companion The Food Demon are ‘small’ stories, they don’t have a real plot and they focus on just one specific theme.

In the first story, the adopted son of a goldfish breeder is completely enamoured by his classmate, the daughter of his rich patron. But she is out of his league, so instead he aims to create the perfect new breed of goldfish. And that despite the fact that he is r
Alice Jennings
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I also read 'A Mothers Love' by Kanoko Okamoto.
A Mothers Love demonstrates the early tradition of amne. A mother is sad and emotionally crippled by her sons departure from herself, from Japan and its traditions, to go to France and study art. Its shows a mothers struggle to let go when her whole life is based on her child's ambitions. It also shows a split between the generations, with the older generation valuing old Japan, and younger generations accepting Western influence. The West are seen
Susan Budd
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two lush novellas about art and obsession. The title novella is not perfect. While I enjoy florid prose, this story is marred by a number of ill-fitting similes. Nevertheless I enjoyed it and found the ending quite satisfying. I also liked learning a bit about the Japanese art of goldfish-breeding. The writing in the second novella, "The Food Demon," is superb. The language and the story work together harmoniously. Both novellas are subtly infused with the author's Buddhism, an indispensable and ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Two poignant stories exploring frustration, self-worth and trying to make your mark in the world. Set in Japan in the years between the two 20th century world wars, they show a nation caught between the old feudal way of life and the thrusting modernity brought in by the Meiji era. The men are largely frustrated and unsettled by their inability to grasp the opportunities modernity seems to offer them, while the women float serenely above them. An interesting pair of stories.
Nali's Shelter
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Frotte di pesci rossi è una raccolta di tre racconti, tre testi inediti in Italia di un'autrice quasi sconosciuta (almeno per noi) vissuta nei primi anni del '900, la quale ha preso ispirazione dalla letteratura classica nipponica per creare una serie di opere di importante valore letterario.

La raccolta ci presenta tre racconti apparentemente disconnessi tr
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Honestly, I only read the first short story, because I have university books to read, so I have to prioritise what I'm reading... and this wasn't one. I thought it was quite slow going, probably because it's very character based, and that's not my personal favourite in reading (but then again, most short stories are character based, so what did I expect lol). I honestly didn't think much of A Riot of Goldfish, I found it boring, especially with the main character always feeling sorry for himself ...more
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan, quick-reads, study
(Read for class)

I really liked Okamoto's descriptions of nature and her vivid use of colour. I also thought that her characterisation was good, and Mataichi's obsession with both Masako and goldfish was interesting. I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't love this book, but I just don't feel like giving it more than 3 stars.
Jim Fonseca
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is really two novellas, or more accurately, two long short stories, by a female Japanese writer of the 1930’s. The Goldfish story of the title is about a man from a poor family whose occupation is raising goldfish for show ponds and breeding new varieties. He’s in love with a beautiful young woman who lives in the big house on the nearby hill, but he’s from a poor farm family so he can only watch from a distance as she marries, has children and lives her life oblivious of him. Raising ...more
Russell George
Dec 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Peculiar book really, and possibly the first time that I’ve gone back to a Foreword and found it enlightening rather than simply a gratuitous re-telling of the story. David Mitchell gives context to when Okamoto was writing, and how the sometimes flowery style went down at the time. But more importantly, he also mentions that the title novella reads sometimes like the sketch for a longer book. And that’s where it doesn’t work. For much of the time Okamoto breaks the golden rule of telling the st ...more
Nick Russo
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
It really was a pleasure being in Professor Vincent's class at BU, and I can assure everyone that you're in good hands or a translator.

I encourage those that pick up these two short stories to read the foreword and introduction to Okamoto's work and life. The stories are simple, brief, and contain so much complexity. Much like a waka (extended haiku) poem.

Coming from a Western point of view, and as Vincent or Mitchell mentioned prior to the stories, I felt like these both could have been expan
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
A beautifully written book containing two short stories (about 55 pages each), each of which is a detailed character study of a main character. The cultural context for each is fsacinating but what drew me in was the intimate nature of the way charaxcter is revealed. Carfully crafted and layered, I thought this was a wonderful little book. Sometimes the language can be a little elaborate but I think it was of the time (1930s)(and easily forgiven. Okamoto apparently died young and, had she lived ...more
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan
A Riot of Goldfish had an original and interesting premise, and the Food Demon had some interesting scenes (eg the dancing man on his deathbed) but can't say I was particularly engaged throughout either of these two novellas.
Jennifer Davies
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This novella is about a mans quest to crate the perfect goldfish. It is enjoyable, although despite only being around 50 pages long it took longer than expected to read. I enjoyed the plot, it was simple but good. The ending was very satisfying also.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Four stars for the title story, five for undercard "The Food Demon."
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Kanoko Okamoto (岡本 かの子 Okamoto Kanoko?, 1 March 1889 - 18 February 1939) was the pen-name of a Japanese author, tanka poet, and Buddhist scholar active during the Taishō and early Shōwa periods of Japan.

(from Wikipedia)
“All'improvviso, un pensiero folgorò Fukuichi: frustrazione e tristezza sono l'eredità di ciascuno di noi. Per quanto si possa credere di godere a sufficienza di un bene qualunque, il godimento non è mai pieno, ma sarà sempre manchevole di qualcosa. Nessuno può avere tutto ciò che vuole, e ognuno è solo sulla faccia della terra.” 0 likes
“ไม่ว่าด้วยความสิ้นหวังหรือความสุขล้นเกินกว่าความสิ้นหวัง ร่างที่ถะถั่งด้วยอารมณ์ของมะตะอิจิก็ค่อยๆ ไถลลงไปในตมโคลนข้างบ่อน้ำ เขายังคงอยู่ตรงนั้น ดวงตาปิดสนิท ขณะที่ไหล่ยกขึ้นตามจังหวะการหายใจ ในเวลาเดียวกันนั้นเอง ลึกลงไปใต้ผิวน้ำเบื้องหน้า ปลาทองตัวนั้น ซึ่งเปรียบดั่งดาราดวงใหม่ในสายตาของมะตะอิจิ พองตัวออกด้วยความนิ่งสงบ ว่ายนำฝูงปลาทองที่เหลืออยู่เป็นริ้วขบวนสุกสกาว ครั้นเมื่อครีบของมันสะท้อนแสงงามที่สาดส่องมาจากดวงอาทิตย์” 0 likes
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