Title: Tokyo Ueno Station
Author: Miri Yu
Goodreads page: Link
Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Emperor, Kazu’s life is tied by a series of coincidences to Japan’s Imperial family and to one particular spot in Tokyo; the park near Ueno Station – the same place his unquiet spirit now haunts in death. It is here that Kazu’s life in Tokyo began, as a laborer in the run up to the 1964 Olympics, and later where he ended his days, living in the park’s vast homeless ‘villages’, traumatized by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and enraged by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics.
This book is the story of a regular Japanese person, what happens to him could happen to anyone. This plus the extremely detailed descriptions makes you really live the scenes you are reading. It’s a really particular style of writing that has the power to make the reader feel on his own skin all what’s happening in the book.
It’s a really sad and gloomy story where the protagonist recollects events of his past, watching the present like he is not part of it.
Due to one of the events recalled to the protagonist, the author is able to insert a small parenthesis about uses and concepts of Buddhism and this can be really interesting and also educational for those that don’t know much about this religion.
Buddhism is not the only thing we will get some more knowledge about because there are also various stories about the Battle of Ueno and much more trivia on Japan.
This book is not only a story about a group of people that a lot of time get totally ignored and untouched by the various types of media, but also a collection of anecdotes from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Unfortunately I didn’t get too much into this book; not because it is a bad one but because it probably isn’t the right genre for me.