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Japan Society Book Club: Floating Clouds by Fumiko Hayashi

10 June — 7:00 pm


Monday 10 June 2019 7.00pm

The Japan Society
13 / 14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Free for Japan Society Members
Book online here

Available from AbeBooks, Book Depository and Amazon
Japanese version available here

Considered one of Hayashi’s masterpieces, Floating Clouds adopts a nihilistic perspective in its scrutiny of the essential nature of human beings. Yukiko Koda, a young typist, and Kengo Tomioka, a technical officer, had fallen in love with each other in Japanese-occupied Indochina during the war. However, when Tomioka comes into Yukiko’s life again in postwar Japan, he is a completely changed man. Yukiko is dragged into a destructive relationship with Tomioka, and they unsuccessfully attempt a double suicide. Fleeing from subsequent failed affairs, Tomioka goes off to the remote island of Yakushima to work, and Yukiko desperately follows him.

Fumiko Hayashi (1903–1951) was a novelist and poet born in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture. She was the illegitimate daughter of an itinerant peddler, and experienced abject poverty as a child. In her lonely childhood she grew to love literature, and after finishing school she moved to Tokyo to write, but barely managed to support herself there and struggled in a series of unhappy relationships. These experiences and unconventional early life influenced her works, especially Horoki (tr. Vagabond’s Diary, 1930), her first semi-autobiographical novel. She reached the peak of her popularity after World War II and continued to write about the sufferings caused by war and poverty, and the misery of rootless women. She died suddenly of heart strain from overwork.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

 

Details

Date:
10 June
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:
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    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP