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Group Read Discussions > May 2018 Group Read: Six Four, by Hideo Yokoyama

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message 1: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
Kirsten will be your guide for discussing this book -- have fun! It's a fine book.

ps/there is also a spoiler thread.


message 2: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments Welcome, all! I am nearly halfway through this book and am enjoying it very much.

This book immerses you in Japanese culture and the structure of the Japanese police system. I will try and find some background material for you.


message 3: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments A Basic Overview of Japanese Culture
http://www.mizukan.org/articles/cultu...

Law enforcement in Japan (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enf...

Police Box (“Koban”) System
https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/basic-info...

A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths
https://www.theatlantic.com/internati...


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol Leonard | 8 comments Thanks so much for this recommendation. Just got the Kindle version. I really appreciate this group.


message 5: by Michelle RA (new)

Michelle RA (michellelfitzpatrick) | 1 comments So happy this is our book for May! I’ll definitely be starting it this weekend 😊


message 6: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments It's a good read!


message 7: by Alan (new)

Alan I really enjoyed this when it came out in paperback. Have recently read 'Seventeen' by the same autbor which has just been translated and published in English for the first time, although it was written beforehand originally. Similar fascination with procedure and different time frames, but instead of police it deals with journalists and the 1985 plane crash in Japan.

It always slightly discombobulates me when books are published out of chronological order, cos then you have to work harder to get a sense of authors developing a style!


message 8: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1598 comments I have started reading Six Four


message 9: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
Alan wrote: "I really enjoyed this when it came out in paperback. Have recently read 'Seventeen' by the same autbor which has just been translated and published in English for the first time, although it was wr..."

I have Seventeen on my shelf. The decision to publish in English often comes down to the publisher. Sometimes they try a bestseller from the country of original publication; if there's enough demand, they'll translate more. If it's not in series, I don't care about order, but in series, well, the chronology being off kills me.


message 10: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments Just finished this incredible work. I loved it!! There were times I had to re-read chapters to understand what was going on.

What I loved most was the difference not just between US and Japanese cultures, but also how that plays out in the police.

What are your thoughts??


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol Leonard | 8 comments Having trouble getting through it. Dark, slow. So much is happening in the interior, it's almost like a prison, painful.


message 12: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hafezparast | 368 comments I'm now about 40% through it and so far there are good points and bad points. Whilst I find the cultural differences of how police and press as well as different police departments work with each other, I do think it could be slightly speeded up. On the other hand it really shows the delicate and so often, under the obvious radar machinations of Japanese society. I worked with some really lovely Japanese colleagues in a UK investment bank in the 90s and there was quite a considerable culture clash, with UK investment banks being more like US institutions, brash and openly confrontational and Japanese, never openly confrontational and working things out behind the scenes. The huge importance of politeness and manners in Japanese culture as you probably can imagine was also a real problem in this world. However, what also comes through quite clearly is the still quite virulent sexism, which really irks me. The way the Makriami treads the female detective in his group, really is sometimes hard to take and puts me against him. Put I guess this is how it is or at least at was when this book was written. From what I hear from the press and social media, this has not changed a lot. However, plenty of sexism around here.

As I have a teenage daughter myself, my heart breaks for Mariami and his wife and there, the devotion he shows towards his wife, is really beautiful and touching. Also your genetic material being the cause of so much heartache for your daughter, how unfair and hurtful and heart-breaking a situation this is. Ever parent thinks from time to time that they hope their children haven't inherited certain physical traits, health issues or personality traits, but for it to lead to such anguish that your beloved daughter disappears, that is beyond painful.

Clearly just about getting to the real meat of the story, so will be interesting if the pace get's a bit faster.


message 13: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hafezparast | 368 comments Carol wrote: "Having trouble getting through it. Dark, slow. So much is happening in the interior, it's almost like a prison, painful."
I've finished it now and my earlier optimism really left me. It is too long and I got really bored with it towards the end.


message 14: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments I'm sorry that you didn't care for it, Gisela. I really enjoyed it and loved the immersion in the culture.


message 15: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Forkin (ellen_forkin) | 41 comments Why, oh, why was this book so addictive?? Why do I care about the intricate workings of Japenese police procedure and their relations with the press? It’s so specific and slow paced and should be oh so boring but I was flipping the pages like there was no tomorrow! Looking back, I can’t really say what so captivated me. Bizarre, but I did love it.


message 16: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments I agree, Ellen!! I think part of it was it was so different. It was like watching animals in the zoo. It was just SO different from our experience with police/media relations.

The whole business of only having police women as a sort of dating pool for the police MEN was weird.


message 17: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Forkin (ellen_forkin) | 41 comments Kirsten wrote: "I agree, Ellen!! I think part of it was it was so different. It was like watching animals in the zoo. It was just SO different from our experience with police/media relations.

The whole business o..."


Agreed, very weird and frustrating. Does anyone know when the book was written? Hopefully things have moved on a bit and women have a more equal role.


message 18: by Franky (new)

Franky | 954 comments I'm a little late to getting this one, but I started it this weekend and hopefully I'll catch up. Just trying to figure things out right now.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 1216 comments Starting the novel today!


message 20: by Jalayne (new)

Jalayne | 396 comments This was really the first book I've read with Japanese police officers and characters. I didn't understand some things, like the whole Sixty Four thing initially, so I had to read slow. I feel like some parts of it dragged on, but it was cool to see the relationship and interactions between the police and the press.
What did you guys make of Makriami?


message 21: by Franky (new)

Franky | 954 comments I'm about a third of a way through. I'm glad I just noticed the character chart in the first pages of the book, as there are enough characters in this book to make your head spin.

I'm really not sure what to make of Six Four so far, plot, or even Makiriami for that matter. Some of the bickering and fighting with the media and police is hard to wade through, but I'm guessing it has a pay off. I feel a little lost, but maybe that's the intention of the author for a later revelation.


message 22: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments Franky wrote: "I'm about a third of a way through. I'm glad I just noticed the character chart in the first pages of the book, as there are enough characters in this book to make your head spin.

I'm really not ..."


I agree about the characters, even with the character list, I was a little lost. I think you have to treat it like a journey and not a quest. I just let the author steer the ship and watched the scenery.


message 23: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1598 comments I put it aside for a while and came back to it, now about 1/3rd through. It moves slowly, focusing on infighting within the Japanese police.


message 24: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 36379 comments I'm with you, Thomas. I put it down probably 1/3 through. It just kind of drags. I will probably pick it back up. Just not yet. I worked in a bureaucracy for 30+ years, I don't always like to read about them.


message 25: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1598 comments I am retired law enforcement and remember infighting and backstabbing.


message 26: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 91 comments When I read this book, I couldn't put it down!!!! I loved the insight into the Japanese social and police culture.


message 27: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1598 comments I watch "Journeys in Japan" on my local PBS station. I recommend it to anyone interested in Japanese traditions.


message 28: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 36379 comments Thomas wrote: "I am retired law enforcement and remember infighting and backstabbing."

Retired federal employee here.


message 29: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1598 comments Jan C wrote: "Thomas wrote: "I am retired law enforcement and remember infighting and backstabbing."

Retired federal employee here."


I am retired from US Customs.


message 30: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 36379 comments Thomas wrote: "Jan C wrote: "Thomas wrote: "I am retired law enforcement and remember infighting and backstabbing."

Retired federal employee here."

I am retired from US Customs."


IRS counsel's office


message 31: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1598 comments I finished Six Four. My review, 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Thanks again Nancy for sending me this book. If anyone wants my copy, lmk and I will send it to you. Otherwise I will ask family/friends.


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