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10 thoughts on “夕凪の街 桜の国

  1. says:

    It s not often that I ll be stunned actually stunned by a book or story Despite its unwieldy title one that prevents me from being able to recommend it in verbal conversation , Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms stunned me well and good In under a hundred pages, Fumiyo Kouno may have authored the best book I ll read this year I m torn in four ways between this, Ishiguro s Never Let Me Go, and two works by Bola o, 2666 and The Savage Detectives not unpleasant company for a work that certainly doesn t have the press or print run of these other books at least, not in America If there is one way by which to properly describe this book, it s human.Kouno crafts a story that is at once full of so many of the facets of our nature that it can be breathtaking to see how flawlessly they re brought to life in such a short span of pages Greed, fear, guilt, shame, anger, regret, sorrow, love, laughter, hope, song, and joy All of these features of the human frame are present in Kouno s two part story Still , we see the insidious hand of history and the buoyant touch of nostalgia at work throughout the book s narrative.Kouno s book is divided into two related stories Town of Evening Calm and Country of Cherry Blossoms Hence the terrible title for the book as a whole Each explores the lives of members of a single family who live as survivors of the Hiroshima bombing and struggle to find their place, being caught between a society that quietly fears them and the weight of survivor s guilt Alternately heart warming and gut wrenching, this brief exploration of the civilian impact of modern warfare is as good as anything I ve encountered on the subject Kouno is neither gratuitous nor melodramatic and her simple stories are powerful reminders of both the heroic and villainous ends of the human spectrum.While Kouno hones her storytelling lens on the individual a young woman in the first part who struggles to accept the possibility of love in the wake of her unfair escape of Hiroshima s destruction and in the second part her brother and his children s firsthand experience of the unspoken apprehension felt by a society that would not or could not allow themselves to empathize with hibakusha surviving victims of the Bomb her purpose spans much wider territory She, in fact, aims to confront the human being in its peculiar existence as seat to both horror and beauty And even while condemning the race, she hints at the wonder of humanity and the good that it can accomplish when it doesn t allow its nature to get in the way.As I said earlier, Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms had upon me a stunning kind of impact There came a point that I dropped the book to my feet and wept in silence for the space of a minute All sense of composure was evaporated and I fell apart I never suspected such words as Got another one, could have such a full bodied effect on my conscience There was nothing gruesome or exploitative or contrived about Kouno s telling The book was just that good And of course, I recovered from my disablement and was able to continue taking in her joyous, mournful, hopeful, thought provoking work of quiet genius Best graphic novel I ve read this year review courtesy of Good Ok Bad


  2. says:

    This book is made up of two connected stories, both exploring the consequences of the atom bomb for those living in Hiroshima during and after the bombing In the first story, a young woman feels guilty for surviving when so many died such horrible deaths Does she deserve to love in the aftermath of so much suffering And with so many people still getting sick ten years later , will she even survive long enough to tend to this blossoming love The second story I will need to read again I enjoyed it but also found it a bit confusing and fragmented I wish it had been longer and a bit in depth, but I appreciated the characters and the emotion All in all I thought it was a powerful and interesting read I am curious ot check out other work by the author.


  3. says:

    2nd Read 2019

    It s a wonder that what you read for the first time was different of what you read the second time Apparently, Minami was not a seamstress, her mother is and she is an office lady But everything else are the same The feeling is still the same Again, a tear dropped at one point of the story It just has that affect on me

    1955, Minami is a young woman working as a seamstress and lives with her mom in a modest house in Hiroshima Everything looks okay until a guy shows interest in her She s still being haunted by what happened 10 years ago

    I finished this the other night but can t gather my wits to write a coherent review This is a historical fiction and eye opener to me, of what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in that sense and the victims of the atomic bombs view spoiler The prejudice and discrimination that the victims need to face afterword It s like blaming the victims of what happened to them and it s not right And their decedents also have to face the same things even tho they did not live during the incident hide spoiler


  4. says:

    Beautiful and heart wrenching Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms is a masterpiece of tragedy, despair, hope, and life.Nothing happens in a vacuum Even insignificant events can have ripple effects that reach impossibly far from their center The bombing of Hiroshima in World War II was an extremely significant, and tragic, event The immediate effects were obvious, and frightening But it s the less obvious ripples that Fumiyo Kouno relates to us in these incredible stories.This collection has three parts Town of Evening Calm, and Country of Cherry Blossoms 1 and 2 Town is the story of a young woman living in Hiroshima 10 years after the bombing Country part 1 is set 33 years later and features her brother and his children, particularly his daughter Country part 2 follows the same characters 17 years later Through them we see the long lasting effects of the bomb Kouno lets them rise from the story naturally, illuminating both the obvious and subtle effects with great finesse.As you might imagine these are tales heavily shadowed with sadness, fear and melancholy, but that is as it should be Town and Country is set in real times and examines how everyday life was changed forever by a single horrible moment That it manages to do so in a way that resonates authenticity, from characters and happenings that feel real to art that perfectly enhances the emotions pouring forth, is an unbelievable accomplishment A masterpiece in every possible way, Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms should be on every adult s reading list.


  5. says:

    A powerful manga depicting the effects of the Hiroshima bombing to the people from Hiroshima specifically to a woman who feels guilty for surviving It has two connected stories of members from the same family It s human, deep, impactful, yet simple and beautiful There was a balance between being fun and painful There was a bit of a confusing part on the third part but that didn t prevent me from loving it.


  6. says:

    Two interconnected short stories about the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing A powerful, but challenging read It took me several hours to complete this 100 page manga, because it was quite confusing, and I had to reread some parts Wonderful, detailed illustrations 7 10


  7. says:

    I finally got around to reading this because it is a Monthly Read for the Josei and Seinen Readers club The art has a classic feel to it that I rather enjoyed There are lovely, detailed backgrounds The story is moving, sad and fills me with all sorts of American guilt.


  8. says:

    This book made me think about and reflect on Hiroshima in ways I have not before.


  9. says:

    This manga reflects on post war, post bomb Hiroshima It is about everyday life, relationships, and personal history in the shadow of the war and the bomb It s disturbing but not in a graphic way It s disturbing with daily pain, stumbling blocks and people who die 10 from radiation related problems years after they survived the bomb There are two separate stories in this book, all together less than 100 pages The author manages to fit a lot of sadness into such a small volume The first half of the book is a love story, or less, while the second half is about friendship and family They are not really related stories, but they complement each other well The translation seemed kind of strainted at times, but that s not too surprising There are a lot of complicated issues here, like neighborhoods falling into disrepair and families being evicted, and people trying to hold onto a sense of normalcy after such an entirely abnormal experience All of my feelings about this book are simultaneously too much inadequate I got really sad about things afterwards Not recommended for reading during January bouts of depression


  10. says:

    May you grow as strong and as gentle as the sakura tree In this simple author s note at the end of the manga, she was able to portray the lives of the people years after the World War In this simplistic pastel colors and 1980 s style of art, she was able to convey the message of hope and its absence to people, as well as how the Japanese were recovering from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima I may not understand other references like the baseball, the pop song and the radio show, but in one panel it tugged my heart to cry and appreciate the peace that we possess today This book gave me a reminder to be grateful for I never have to re experience their pain to achieve the state of peace we have today.