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Sweet Bean Paste
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Book Club > 8/18 Sweet Bean Paste, by Durian Sukegawa

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message 1: by Christian (last edited Jul 21, 2018 10:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christian (comeauch) | 230 comments I'm starting the thread early on, because I just made a batch of Anko :) (traditional stovetop recipe, pressure cooker version)

I remember I made some after reading that novel last year two years ago (wtf!?) and yesterday I wanted to test my new pressure cooker. Now if only I could summon to motivation to do Dorayaki to go with it. It's been rumored that I'm eating it straight by the spoon. Can't confirm or deny that.

Anyway, it's surprisingly easy to do (3 ingredients: red beans, sugar, salt) and good prep work - or foretaste! - to the novel lol.


message 2: by J (new) - rated it 4 stars

J | 66 comments For once I'm able to participate in a book club read on time! I'm halfway through the novel and enjoying it a lot. Makes me want to have a dorayaki right now! I also want to watch the film adaptation of this novel.


Jeshika Paperdoll (jeshikapaperdoll) | 196 comments I’m glad you started this early because I had totally forgotten to buy the book. Ordered it today. :)


message 4: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim | 152 comments I will be participating this time as well. I’m currently finishing up the book I was reading and will be starting this as soon as I finish.


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1115 comments I'll be starting this next weekend, latest.

Christian - when are you inviting us over for dinner? :)


message 6: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim | 152 comments I'm about halfway through, but I'll be saving my thoughts on it until I finish it (probably tomorrow or the next day). I would like to let everyone here know though, that if you have a US Netflix account, the film adaptation is available for streaming on there. I've not seen the film, so I don't know how closely it follows the book, but I thought everyone here might be interested in knowing it was there. It's under the title Sweet Bean.


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1115 comments Tim wrote: "I'm about halfway through, but I'll be saving my thoughts on it until I finish it (probably tomorrow or the next day). I would like to let everyone here know though, that if you have a US Netflix a..."

Thanks, Tim. Is it American/English or Japanese and subtitled ?


message 8: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim | 152 comments The film is Japanese and subtitled. Also, the poster for it is a recreation of the cover of the novel, which is rather a nice touch.


Swathi Shetty (swathishetty) | 20 comments I'll start the book this weekend:) and I'm definitely going to watch the film adaptation as well!!


message 10: by Tim (last edited Aug 01, 2018 10:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim | 152 comments Just finished it. Some spoilers ahead, consider yourself warned. :)

I'm going to start by saying that I hate giving books 3 stars. Several people I talk to assume that means it is completely worth skipping or in some cases even that I didn’t like the book. That is not the case. 3 stars is perfectly satisfactory, and in some cases I would even highly suggest a book I gave 3 stars to some people (depending on their tastes).

I say that because this is a good book, bordering on an excellent one. For some people it will be an exceptional read that will speak to them clearly. For me though, there were moments of genius, but I found it to be… overly sentimental. Some will find the book improved because of that.

This is an odd book to discuss in many ways. From the plot description I expected a slice of life story about the people who worked inside the restaurant (something like a less humorous version of The Nakano Thrift Shop). Those elements are in here, lightly that is, but it's mostly a book about the past. It's about looking back with regret, yet hoping for the future. It's about the many ways one can be imprisoned or stuck in life (be it to a job, disease, actual jail or even briefly to a poor youth). It's about keeping that info inside and finding out who you actually can tell.

It's also about cooking. Seriously, I should have expected that from the title, but I didn't call quite how much cooking there would be. One could probably follow the instructions in the book to actually make the sweet bean paste of the title (though I will not attempt this as I am a terrible could and would most likely discover a way to accidentally burn my house down).

One aspect I feel I need to address certainly deserves a spoiler warning. (view spoiler)

In closing: was it good? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Not as much as I hoped, but still a worthy read.

I am fascinated to know the take you all have on it though!


message 11: by Rhea (new)

Rhea (rheashell) I'm not done. I just finished Chapter 6. This book should come with two warnings:

1. Bad for diet.
2. Be near a location where you can get dorayaki when you succumb to your urges (as I probably will today, despite my social anxiety)

I also feel like I may get diabetes by how sweet the book seems like it may be (maybe it won't pan out that way, I don't know).

It kind of feels like the reason I haven't watched "Jiro dreams of Sushi" even though it's been in my Netflix queue forever? I'm told when you finish that, you want to eat damn good sushi, and if you look at my location, I live in the midwest. It's not like you -can't- get okay sushi here but... seafood is a bit... lacking.

So If I gain a significant amount of weight reading this book instead of blaming my lack of self-control I'm going to go back, look who recommended this book* and glare at them! ; )


*it could have been me, it was in my tbr list


message 12: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1115 comments Rhea wrote: "I'm not done. I just finished Chapter 6. This book should come with two warnings:

1. Bad for diet.
2. Be near a location where you can get dorayaki when you succumb to your urges (as I probably wi..."


I feel your pain, except I do have a great many options for perfectly acceptable sushi bar sushi available to me, which is a big plus.


Christian (comeauch) | 230 comments At least, red beans have some nutritional value. It's probably not the worst dessert there is :P We have an all-you-can-eat sushi place nearby that serves red bean ice cream and it's not the most popular choice haha! It's takes some getting used to...


message 14: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim | 152 comments Because I've been craving it since I read this book, I had some mocha ice cream and sushi today. It was delightful.


message 15: by J (new) - rated it 4 stars

J | 66 comments I finished it and really enjoyed it, even got a bit teary at the end. It had a lovely slice of life feel that the Japanese excel in, and yet there was that cautionary note that society can still be as unforgiving as ever to anyone not conforming to the norm or expectations.

I definitely feel like some azuki now. Maybe someone can write a book about taiyaki as well...


message 16: by Bill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bill Johnston | 642 comments A weekend without internet flips a number of books from unread to read, including Sweet Bean Paste. I wonder if I should regret getting my internet fixed...

I will try to think of something to add to Tim's excellent review of the book, but as of now he's said everything I came to this thread to say.

Oh, here's something. I noticed this book listed some time ago, and thought "Durien? That can't be a Japanese name", and overlooked it as perhaps written by someone of Japanese descent. You folks prompted me to take another look and give it a try.


message 17: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim | 152 comments Bill wrote: "I will try to think of something to add to Tim's excellent review of the book, but as of now he's said everything I came to this thread to say."

Thank you! I really appreciate seeing a comment like that. Whenever I post a longer reaction, I'm always afraid that the length will drive people away from reading the entire thing, so I genuinely appreciate the compliment. :)


Agnetta | 277 comments I am not reading your posts to avoid any spoilers so far...

I started it yesterday and immediately fell in love with the characters introduced in the first pages.

So I stopped reading and today took up another book during my train-commuting, as I have the feeling I am going to love this novel and find it just too short,... so I will try to make it last as much as possible!

Is Tokue not baffling ? "oh yes, for fifty years" :D
Brilliant.

Love the looks of the book too, that blue and pink, wonderful layout. pitty the movie is not on my spanish netflix yet :(


Swathi Shetty (swathishetty) | 20 comments I completed this book a couple of days ago and absolutely loved it! It's so beautiful. The characters are great. And now I really want to try dorayaki😍


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments I have completed the first 11 chapters at this stage, and commencing Ch 12 I can see that this is going to present a new, more serious phase of the unfolding narrative, so I will make a few observations about the opening chapters to begin with. Within these chapters we gradually come to know firstly Sentaro and soon afterwards Tokue, the elderly lady who comes to work with him. The author skilfully reveals both of these characters in a series of layers, with each of them obviously having more to be revealed as hinted at for some time before we discover the facts. (view spoiler) In summary, these first 11 chapters set up a number of issues and tensions to be resolved, though the overall tone is positive and upbeat.


message 21: by Ian (last edited Aug 18, 2018 06:29AM) (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Christian wrote: "I'm starting the thread early on, because I just made a batch of Anko..."

I have only ever eaten the fairly mass produced, commercial pre-packaged dorayaki available from konbinis in Japan, which I am sure are not the best example of the product. I find the bean paste actually less sweet than you might expect, which is not a problem for me as I'm not keen on overly sweet confectionery; but it also has quite a cloying and heavy texture which does take some getting used to for the unaccustomed palate. I look forward to maybe making some myself one day and seeing if I like those better - perhaps this novel will inspire me as it has inspired Christian! EDIT: I expected this comment to be added as a sub paragraph under Message 1, but it seems that's not how the system works... or I did something wrong. I am a complete novice at Goodreads so far!


message 22: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1115 comments Ian wrote: "I have only ever eaten the fairly mass produced, commercial pre-packaged dorayaki available from konbinis in Japan, which I am sure are not the best example of the product. I find the bean paste ac..."

Ian - you have two choices if you don't want to post successive messages that appear as they two appeared. In the bottom right of your first message, you can select, "reply" and then your second message will look as this message (mine) appears. In the alternative, you can select, "edit" and add your original message to include your second paragraph, then re-post when done.


message 23: by Ian (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Carol wrote: "Ian - you have two choices if you don't want to post successive messages that appear as they two appeared. In the bottom right of your first message, you can select, "reply" and then your second message will look as this message (mine) appears."

Thank you for explaining helpfully Carol. I was expecting my 'reply' to appear as an inset directly below Christian's comment, the same as happens when you reply to a comment in the main comment list for a book, but the comments for bookclub discussions seem to operate more simply. Because it was on a completely different topic I didn't want to make it part of the same comment as my first post. But you have helped me to understand better how the system works, and I can work with that in the future! Thank you so much.


message 24: by Ian (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Alan wrote: "Finished the book this morning, so some quick thoughts.... There are some spoilers in here, so just skip over if you haven't finished:..."

Alan, while I appreciate the warning at the beginning of your comment, the cat was quickly out of the bag for me on a couple of points because I was perusing the whole page and my eye inadvertently fell on a couple of key phrases in your comment before I had started at the beginning. Goodreads has provided a simple device to hide spoilers, which is explained fully here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
Maybe it would even be a good idea to edit your comment to hide the spoilers from others who may not have yet done as I did. In my own case, I realize that I must discipline my eyes to always begin at the beginning of a block of writing :) I hope my comment here can be taken in the spirit of learning together and not of censure, as I only myself learned about the spoiler device two days ago!


message 25: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1115 comments Errr...This group has generally been less spoiler-averse, especially this late in the month — in the interest of encouraging good discussions. Spoiler tags are a great tool for the first ten days or so, depending on the book. YMMV.


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Carol wrote: "Errr...This group has generally been less spoiler-averse, especially this late in the month — in the interest of encouraging good discussions.o..."

I see, thanks for the correction, Carol... as a relative newbie (I have been a silent member for a while, but only finding time to participate actively as of now) I shall stand corrected. Apologies to Alan for seeming perhaps pedantic.


message 27: by Alan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alan | 377 comments Ian wrote: "Carol wrote: "Errr...This group has generally been less spoiler-averse, especially this late in the month — in the interest of encouraging good discussions.o..."

I see, thanks for the correction, ..."


No problem Ian, I appreciate your position and your comments. I've deleted it anyway (it wasn't very interesting lol) and will come back and re-post when I get a chance :-)


message 28: by Ian (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Alan wrote: "No problem Ian, I appreciate your position and your comments. I've deleted it anyway (it wasn't very interesting lol) and will come back and re-post when I get a chance..."

Awww, I do feel bad, Alan, since many others are probably further advanced with reading than I am and would appreciate your thoughts. Please put your comment back any time you're ready. Now that I am aware of the lie of the land in the group, I can be prepared in future. So thank you for your understanding, and please don't be constrained by my newbieness, hehe.
Now that I have learned a few things also, I will try to stop hijacking the discussion and let it proceed as it's supposed to.
I am halfway through now so I hope to finish in a few days and will come back for some more detailed discussion hopefully :)


message 29: by Agnetta (last edited Aug 20, 2018 12:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Agnetta | 277 comments I finished it today --- really enjoyed it !

from my side, my impression about the central theme, also based on a note from the author that was added at the end of my edition was (view spoiler)


message 30: by Agnetta (last edited Aug 20, 2018 12:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Agnetta | 277 comments So - really a nice, poetical, uplifting read. Makes me feel good about life. I think I will soon read the other novel by Durian Sukegawa, Le Rêve de Ryôsuke in french,or Die Insel der Freundschaft in german as it is not yet translated in english it seems.


Agnetta | 277 comments Tim wrote: "Just finished it. Some spoilers ahead, consider yourself warned. :)

I'm going to start by saying that I hate giving books 3 stars. Several people I talk to assume that means it is completely worth..."


Very nice review Tim, I appreciated much your view of how this book was about looking at the past, in that specific way, that helped me dig more into this perspective !


message 32: by Suki (last edited Aug 24, 2018 02:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 54 comments I thought this was a lovely book; I really enjoyed the reading of it and I fell in love with all three of the main characters, especially Sentaro and Tokue.

To be perfectly honest, I had been expecting a much different book; the title and the pastel blue and pink cover had me expecting something quite a bit fluffier and funnier. It is a sweet story, but it is definitely not fluffy. I hope that we will be seeing more of this author's work in English translation soon.

Has anybody watched the movie yet? It isn't available on Netflix Canada, and I don't want to buy the DVD unless I hear some really good feedback.


message 33: by Sara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara | 1 comments Ciao everyone!
I joined this group years ago but I never participated! I loved all your comments... so I'll make sure to start to be active from now. :-)
I'll give 3.5 stars to Sweet Beans. I enjoyed it, although I need to agree with Tim: it was too much sentimental. And, well, was it just me or you also think that, after the dream of Sentaro, the author was getting to the end without the lightness you experience throughout the book? Let me know if you enjoyed the final part.... also, maybe, that Moryama isn't that well portrayed to me...

And, as Suki, I am looking forward reading your comments about the movie too! Not available on Netflix in Italy. Please, tell us whether you recommend it or not!


Agnetta | 277 comments I just saw the trailer of the movie and it plunged me right back into the book... adding color and details. I will most certainly rent it soon !


message 35: by Suki (new) - rated it 5 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 54 comments Agnetta wrote: "I just saw the trailer of the movie and it plunged me right back into the book... adding color and details. I will most certainly rent it soon !"

Thanks, Agnetta! That sounds promising!


message 36: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim | 152 comments Agnetta wrote: "Very nice review Tim, I appreciated much your view of how this book was about looking at the past, in that specific way, that helped me dig more into this perspective ! "

The more I come back to this book, the more I feel that the past is really what the story is about. We only get the one detailed "flashback," and most of the book is in the present, but I like how past actions influence just about every scene in the novel (sometimes to a subtle degree, sometimes not so much).

Suki wrote: "Has anybody watched the movie yet? It isn't available on Netflix Canada, and I don't want to buy the DVD unless I hear some really good feedback.."

I haven't watched it yet. I've been working a lot, and when I get home I'd prefer a book to a movie lately. That said, I saw the trailer and it seems fairly faithful.


message 37: by Suki (new) - rated it 5 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 54 comments Tim wrote: "I haven't watched it yet. I've been working a lot, and when I get home I'd prefer a book to a movie lately. That said, I saw the trailer and it seems fairly faithful."

I'm the same way, Tim. I will always choose reading over watching a movie, which is why I'm feeling somewhat hesitant over buying the DVD. I have enjoyed most of the contemporary Japanese movies I've seen quite a bit more than Western movies. Maybe when payday gets here, I'll just go ahead and get it because I really did enjoy the story.


message 38: by Ian (last edited Aug 31, 2018 02:26AM) (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments I really wanted to love this book wholeheartedly. Just the cover design alone warmed me to it, and the characters in the opening chapters really warmed and wormed their way into my heart. By the end of the book, I still loved them all, and enjoyed the read on the whole... yet with a few reservations once the deeper story got going. I suppose my main issue was that, at times, I felt it became somewhat didactic, trying a little too hard to teach me about the issue of leprosy and how it had been badly handled in Japan. Perhaps I was a little less ready to be 'taught' more about this because it was a theme I had already been exposed to, in Endo Shusaku's The Girl I Left Behind (1964, Eng tr. 1994). Endo's book had of course been written during the depths of Japan's unfortunate policy regarding Hansen's patients, while Sukegawa had the good fortune to be able to look back with some sense of relief on the opportunity the patients had in their later years to, at least to an extent, re-engage with society. Be that as it may, the didactic element in Sweet Bean Paste did bother me just a little. It was probably strongest in Ch 18, when Tokue, Sentaro and Wakana are walking through the grounds of Tenshoen and Toku's story is emerging. It just seemed that the way she told it was a little like a history lesson. (I am completely open to being disagreed with about this, though!) So, for me, the book lost a little of its magic at that point.

I did also find some of the passages where Sentaro struggles with that idea of a salty bean paste or salty dorayaki just a little laborious, perhaps because I do not yet understand if the search for that perfection has some deeper meaning - which I feel it must. But as I was reading, I admit it did become (to me) slightly annoying at times.

Sukegawa's post-script 'Author's Note' makes clear what his overall theme and purpose was in this book, and reflecting upon it, I feel that he did accomplish his purpose pretty effectively. Certainly the idea that each person we meet in the book, and by implication every other person who has ever lived, fulfills their purpose simply by attesting to the existence of the universe, comes through clearly. I don't pretend to understand that in detail yet, and so despite my small reservations this is definitely a book I will return to and try to fathom more deeply. Probably I will gain more insights as I read the thoughts of other groups members, which I have not done now for a couple of weeks as I completed my reading, and I am looking forward to that.

Finally (and leaving out many other things I could explore as well) I am intrigued to know what others make of the ending, with the moon rising and Sentaro's final declaration to the departed Toku, through her planted cherry sapling, 'The moon has arrived'. I really want to understand that, but I don't yet.

Overall then, there is much to admire and to recommend about this delicate little novel, while having just those few hesitations. It doesn't answer everything you would like it to, but that is the task of a good work of modern Japanese fiction - to leave you largely satisfied but also wondering. To that extent, I hope I get the opportunity to read more of Sukegawa's work in the future.


message 39: by Ian (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Tim wrote: "It's about looking back with regret, yet hoping for the future. It's about the many ways one can be imprisoned or stuck in life (be it to a job, disease, actual jail or even briefly to a poor youth)."

Really enjoyed your many comments, Tim, and just responding to a couple of them. This first excerpt I have chosen doesn't need more than for me to simply say, 'Thank you!', those words sum up very well a large part of what I gained from the book. I wonder if maybe we would have liked to know a little more about the ways in which both Sentaro and Wakana were 'imprisoned' in their lives - to say nothing of the unnamed (I think unnamed?) shop owner. But we get a good deal still, as the book develops.

Tim wrote: "In many ways I felt cheated when this started up, it felt like I went into this book expecting a different story (admittedly, that is my own fault) and received a dark recent history lesson."

I do agree with you here, and probably like you, a bit guiltily, in that maybe I just wanted a 'nice' story, and had been lured by the cover and my simplistic expectations into thinking that (for once, in Japanese fiction) I might actually just get one. Silly me, Japanese authors don't generally waste their time on 'nice' stories, they are always grappling with deeper and darker issues... which is why we read them!

Tim wrote: "In closing: was it good? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Not as much as I hoped, but still a worthy read."

This would be my conclusion too. It's a good book. I definitely don't regret reading it. It's just that I brought the wrong expectations to it. My fault completely!


message 40: by Ian (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Agnetta wrote: "Hansen's disease, even if it is of course a central theme and the author divulged the history thru the novel, may not have been the most important theme the author wanted to bring to us. Rather I had the feeling the author wanted to write in the first place about the sense of life, each human being a vehicle thru which the universe comes to existence,... a very buddhist kind of take, I would say. Tokue, in the end appears as a rather illuminated person."

Great summary! I think perhaps I did focus too much on the Hansen's disease aspect, and not enough on the (as you have pointed out) clearly declared main purpose of the author. I wondered how faithfully Buddhist the author's idea of each individual confirming the existence of the universe might be, and you have enlightened us about that.

Agnetta wrote: "The characters, they were marvelous. Now what will Sentaro do ? He will open that shop, I say. It will be called Cherry Doriyaki. It will have decoration of a lemon canary picking on a doriyaki. He will be happy. Wakana will work there and she will become a true bean master."

I love that you proposed some possible next steps for the two surviving main characters! And of course, in very typical Japanese fashion, Tokue will be watching over them and guiding them, probably they both will speak to her daily at the family altar, since Sentaro was in a sense the son Toku never had, and maybe Wakana can become the daughter Sentaro would likely never otherwise have either. Gee, I really am trying to turn it back into a 'nice' story, aren't I? Hehe... and yet, you do manage to perceive its genuine 'nice' elements as well!

Agnetta wrote: "I think I will soon read the other novel by Durian Sukegawa, Le Rêve de Ryôsuke in french,or Die Insel der Freundschaft in german as it is not yet translated in english it seems."

I am of course so jealous that you have those options, and yet only myself to blame. We English-speaking Australians have been so typically arrogant, like too many English speakers, in our failure to learn other languages - but at times like these, I regret that I wasn't more faithful in any of my half-hearted attempts to learn French! :P


message 41: by Ian (last edited Aug 31, 2018 06:06AM) (new)

Ian (ishel) | 10 comments Suki wrote: "To be perfectly honest, I had been expecting a much different book; the title and the pastel blue and pink cover had me expecting something quite a bit fluffier and funnier."

As both Tim and I, and perhaps others, have also felt! So maybe that's the sign of the author's ingenuity, to lure us in unsuspectingly and get us to the point where we are hooked, and then make us take notice of what he really does want to say. Clever Durian-san! (And I am intrigued about how a Japanese guy came by a non-Japanese name of a fruit which is loved by many and hated by some, hehe!)

Sara wrote: "Ciao everyone!
I joined this group years ago but I never participated! I loved all your comments... so I'll make sure to start to be active from now. :-)"


Ciao back at you, Sara, or as we Aussies say it, "G'day" :-) I am loving the multinational makeup of this group and, like you, this being my first real participation after lurking for years, I hope I get to stick around and take part a bit more from here on.

Sara wrote: "And, well, was it just me or you also think that, after the dream of Sentaro, the author was getting to the end without the lightness you experience throughout the book? Let me know if you enjoyed the final part.... also, maybe, that Moryama isn't that well portrayed to me..."

I think Sentaro's dream certainly did bring me to a more intense moment in the story. For me, the lightness had already mostly disappeared way earlier, but after the dream, and especially with the revealed death of Tokue, we are in very serious territory after that. I wouldn't say I 'enjoyed' that last part, as I was drawn along with it to try to understand the author's main points. As for Miss Moriyama, I think yes, she is not as well developed a character as the others, and even the fact that she is just called 'Miss Moriyama' (in Japanese, I wonder if that is just 'Moriyama san'?) rather than having a given name, she is not intended to be as well developed a character as the others. But I wonder, Sara, whether you mean that the author somehow wasn't able to portray Moriyama to us as well as we would really like? That could be, too...

Final comments... I am sorry if I have written too much at the end of the month, I'm just beginning really in this group so please forgive me for overkill... Also, please forgive my rather intrusive comments early on which were a distraction from the book. I wonder if we should remove those irrelevant ones now that I do know the lie of the land a bit better? Thank you, everyone, for your welcome and your patience! :-)

And just as an afterthought, for those interested... a current article about the experience of Hansen's disease among Australia's Aboriginal people: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-28...


message 42: by Agnetta (last edited Aug 31, 2018 03:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Agnetta | 277 comments Ian wrote: "probably they both will speak to her daily at the family altar, since Sentaro was in a sense the son Toku never had, and maybe Wakana can become the daughter Sentaro would likely never otherwise have either" YEAG.. .i can see that now before me :D ... thanks, felt good to picutre that :)

About the buddhist thought.. of course Many schools, many interpretations, many teachers, so other people may not see it like that .... but I did find that thought expressed in several sources, so it totally resonated with me as buddhist.

thank you for the great review!
I also thought some magic gets lost when the whole didactic goal surface so I could relate totally with your inputs.


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