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The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories
The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories | Rebecca Otowa
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"Otowa has woven a series of delightful vignettes of life in Japan, from a true historical story of feuding villages to a man who steals shoes at templesand some highlighting the cultural differences between Japanese and American sensibilities, especially for women." Ginny Tapley-Takemori, translator of Convenience Store Woman From the unique standpoint of an American woman who married into a Japanese family and has lived in Japan for more than thirty years, Rebecca Otowa weaves enchanting tales of her adopted home that portray the perspective of both the Japanese and the foreigner on the universal issues that face us alllove, work, marriage, death, and family conflict. The collection includes: A Year of Coffee and CakeA young American wife in the Tokyo suburbs suspects her next-door neighbor of murdering an elderly relative. Rhododendron ValleyAn elderly man decides to commit suicide to deal with his terminal illness and to spare his family pain. The Mad Kyoto Shoe SwapperA reclusive young Japanese man enjoys the strange hobby of stealing shoes from temples, but it gradually consumes him. Genbei's CurseA downtrodden woman loses her temper with her demanding, sick father-in-law. Years later, old and sick herself, she can now empathize with him. Trial by FireA true story passed down through the author's family of a gruesome trial to settle a land dispute in 1619. Love and DutyThe Japanese custom of "duty chocolates" (chocolates gifted by women to men on Valentine's Day) has repercussions for an American and a Japanese woman. Uncle TrashTold in the form of newspaper articles, this is the story of an old man, his hoarding addiction, the annoyance it brings his family, and his eventual revenge. Watch AgainA man starts stalking his ex-wife and learns something about himself in the process. Three Village StoriesA tea ceremony teacher, a vengeful son, and an old man ostracized by his community are the protagonists in three vignettes of village life. The RescuerAfter meeting his death in a train accident, a young man finds himself in the position of rescuing others from the same fate. Showa GirlBased on a true story from the author's family, a girl of fifteen has an arranged marriage with an older man just back from a POW camp in Russia in 1948. Rachel and LeahAn older American woman reflects on her long and not always happy marriage to a Japanese man. The Turtle StoneGoing from the 1950s to the present, this is the story of one man's efforts to keep the family cake shop alive in a Kyoto that is constantly modernizing. Illustrated throughout with the author's own black-and-white drawings, this captivating volume offers a unique and lovingly rendered insight into everyday life in modern Japan.
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Feeling fancy! 💋 Enjoying a strawberry banana smoothie with the tagged book at the local Omni Hotel‘s coffee shop on my staycation. (Not actually staying at the hotel, but it feels luxurious to pretend I am. 😊)