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The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto (review)

The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto (review) Reviews ■ F I C T I O N The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto by Kenji Naka- gami. Translated by Eve Zimmerman. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press, 1999. 192 pages, paper $12.95. Twenty-n ine-ye ar-o ld K enji Na kaga mi was wo rking as a ba ggage hand ler at Haneda Airport in 19 7 6 when his novella, ÒThe Cape,Ó was awarded the Akutagawa Shš, JapanÕs premier literary prize. Nakagami , who was born into JapanÕs outcast burakumin s o c i e t y , was the Þrst in his family to Òget letters.Ó In his writing, he con- centrated on the hardscrabble life of the people in his community : his stories of the r o j i (alley) are populated by ditchdiggers , prostitutes, gamblers, bums, and drug a d d i c t s. There are no cherry blossoms or whispered h a i k u in The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto, but instead sweaty armpits, pig piss, and bloody k n i v e s. NakagamiÕs Þctional world is dirty realism at its grimiest. ÒThe CapeÓ centers around a family much like NakagamiÕs own. The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto (review)

Manoa , Volume 13 (2) – Oct 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-943x

Abstract

Reviews ■ F I C T I O N The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto by Kenji Naka- gami. Translated by Eve Zimmerman. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press, 1999. 192 pages, paper $12.95. Twenty-n ine-ye ar-o ld K enji Na kaga mi was wo rking as a ba ggage hand ler at Haneda Airport in 19 7 6 when his novella, ÒThe Cape,Ó was awarded the Akutagawa Shš, JapanÕs premier literary prize. Nakagami , who was born into JapanÕs outcast burakumin s o c i e t y , was the Þrst in his family to Òget letters.Ó In his writing, he con- centrated on the hardscrabble life of the people in his community : his stories of the r o j i (alley) are populated by ditchdiggers , prostitutes, gamblers, bums, and drug a d d i c t s. There are no cherry blossoms or whispered h a i k u in The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto, but instead sweaty armpits, pig piss, and bloody k n i v e s. NakagamiÕs Þctional world is dirty realism at its grimiest. ÒThe CapeÓ centers around a family much like NakagamiÕs own. The

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 1, 2001

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