SBP Blog

The Literary Review on Shun Medoruma's 'In the Woods of Memory'

Intern Intern - Monday, April 02, 2018

The Literary Review just wrote a penetrating and eloquent article on Shun Medoruma's novel In the Woods of Memory, asserting that it's "not simply a meditation on the failure to act, but on the inability to act either rightly or enough or both."

Here's a particularly incisive passage:

War, rape, and stabbings notwithstanding, the most viscerally gruesome and emotionally demeaning chapter plays out in a present day Okinawan middle school. When a chronically bullied pre-teen girl is forced to drink other girls’ spit, she throws up, and then takes the blame (both internally and publically) for the incident. As the girl who orchestrated the attack offers to take bullied girl to the school nurse, (“—Let’s wash your face, she says in a gentle voice”) the reader’s stomach turns. The act completes the cycle of abuse, where the controlling party torments and then care-takes the victim, leaving the wounded in anticipatory angst, in the same way that the Americans ravaged, then provided food and protection for, and then re-attacked, the Okinawan people. These scenes exemplify both the depth of violation betrayals of the body can incur and the added layer of horror present when your attacker has convinced you, despite past evidence, that they will not harm you again. This deep desire to believe you’re safe means that when another assault occurs, you erroneously blame yourself both for bringing the attack on and for your naiveté.

Read the full book review here: http://ow.ly/w8fm30jhmWU

 

 


Like our blog? Please share it!

Categories

Subscribe to the SBP Mailing List

New Releases

Amy’s Guide to Best Behavior in Japan


Going to Japan? This unfussy modern guide guarantees you keep it polite and get it right!

Exploring Kyoto


This revised and updated edition of the Japan travel classic and cultural guide gets you wandering from downtown quarters to remote mountaintop temples and features expanded information on new museums and gardens now open year-round for viewing.


Japanese Garden Notes


Marc Peter Keane's personal journey through 100 Japanese gardens, looking at them with a designer’s eye.

My Year of Dirt and Water


Married to a Zen monk in training, an American woman in Japan chronicles her own year of growth and discovery.

Tag Cloud

Spirituality a shameful life japan restaurant Art/Design eating in japan haiku henry kiyama japanese people Tokyo Olympics william f sibley comic history Culture UCLA WWII non-fiction book tour Language 1960s Korea Basho japanese etiquette asia tea garden pottery Year of the Dog etiquette Chinese Astrology Asian Studies frederik schodt author tour World War Two jing liu Okinawan literature The Colorado Review monk china history gaijin pot literary prize Ukiyo-e Japanese holidays tricycle magazine bowing in japan Japan Chinese New Year Christianity japanese drunk university of chicago what do in japan literary review holocaust zazen shun medoruma japanese culture understandind china through comics photography center of east asian studies Travel kansuke naka michael emmerich osamu dazai zen Christianity in Japan otakuusa how to order in japan Children's Literature memoir, tracy franz, zen monk, buddhist japanese travel memoir hitler japanese reviews how to travel in japan History Shoah comics astrology hiroaki sato classic japanese literature mark gibeau tea koun Chiune Sugihara yukio mishima Anime/Manga/Comics suicide literature green tea Spring Festival book Interview matcha japanese customs japan etiquette award zen monk in the woods of memory monks wife books stone bridge cafe the silver spoon book review Korea photography journal' monks wife japanese book Korea AAS 1960's Japan Children's Books tracy franz Japanese literature review World War II diary internment swastika Olympics religion Chinese history Nikolas Bunton stone bridge press haibun Coming of Age Day t.k. nakagaki journal Japanese aesthetics japan guide China japan travel seppuku world literature today min kahng buddhist japan food travel Japan guide 2020 Olympics no longer human gratitude in japan Second World War wife musical takuma sminkey announcement chinese comics behavior Poetry book hoarding manners amy chavez ningen shikkaku tourist four immigrants Chinese culture new books my year of dirt and water gaijinpot japan custom eastern and western philosophy danica davidson manga drinking in japan poetry of consciousness Basho's Narrow Road Japanese art author japan memoir the buddhist swastika Translation
RSS