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Friday, March 13, 2009


I love Japan.

Old and ancient Japan that is. Or some part of it anyway. Some of its quaint customs and rituals. And I'd love nothing better than to go off gallivanting there given half a chance. No no, I have no intention of going there and singing 'Sayonara Sayonara' while dressed in a Kimono and looking very touristy. I'd probably land there with Dad though, given he's just as mad about the place as I am (Really Dad, what next? First it was the Carpenters and now this. What next I ask you?)

But given I'm not rich enough to actually do that, I do the next best thing I can. Lose myself in descriptions of Japan and its people whenever I can. Yes 'Memoirs of a Geisha' was super, I loved it but it still wasn't enough... something was missing. I'll prolly look up 'Oshin' again.

But right now, I am reading 'The Tale of Genji' — and intend to finish all 1184 pages of it. It's only a translation, wish I could read it in Japanese ... translation doesn't quite cut it you know. It's supposed to be the first ever novel written... should make interesting reading.

What I am getting at however is, should I do short updates/reviews of the book as I finish parts of it? Here? I don't do book reviews here as such. Should I do it with this one? Yes? No?

Tell me.


  1. do do!!

    i LOVED oshin as a kid. i was especially fascinated by the sliding wooden doors. and the low-height tea tables. and the tea itself. and the kimonos. you know what, just about everything. quite like you. :)

  2. I love Sushi. Does that count?

    "..Geisha" is one of those books which is in my Yeah .. I'd probably get to you somedaypile.

    But you sound positively giddy over Japan. Is it because of your childhood crush on a certain Yokozuna? :P ...

    Oh yeah, more book reviews.

  3. Ohhh I love Japan too!!

    I've been there twice now and studied Japanese throughout highschool :) LOVE the food, the people and culture :D :D

    DEFINITELY put ur review up here - I've read 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and would love to hear your thoughts about that and other Japanese related books :)

  4. yep.. do the review...
    As kids, we had Japanese Neighbors on both sides!
    And, i still have the translation book - which teaches u Japanese...
    I remember the numbers and how to say hello and all that, but not much... I still have the red and blue scarf they gave us as a good-bye present when we were leaving...
    their rice cakes are quite yummy!
    And Geisha - is a pretty good book!

  5. deal with the Japanese (and not as a tourist) and all those beautiful and romantic thoughts will go away.

    I think I should do a post on why I hate japan and why I hate the japanese. Ask any Korean or a Chinese (i guess even Russians to a certain extent)and they would agree.

    All the romantic Honour, Honesty, Punctuality, Code of Conduct sounds good only in books in reality ...

  6. Did you watch Memoirs of a Geisha - the film? Three Oscars!
    I love book reviews...write away :)

  7. a review of the the first ever novel written? bring it on! bring it on. oh, and konichiwa.

  8. Chanced upon your blog. You're darn good you know! Waiting to read the review... Since you like the country so much, have you seen the duology - Letters from Iwo-Jima and Flags of our fathers? (2 Clint Eastwood directed movies... good stuff - You'll love 'em)... You could also catch 'The Last Samurai' if you can stand Tom Cruise... (shudders at the sound of his name)...

    Btw - I have a similar fascination for the Roman period (i.e. 50BC - 50AD types.

    Ooops.. there I go again.. got carried away.. Do keep blogging (as if you won't if I hadnt encouraged you!)


  9. メインページ

  10. what is wrong, i ask, with wearing a kimono and going "sayonara sayonara..." eh?

  11. Galadriel: :) I really want to watch Oshin again... I just hope it doesn't turn out disappointing like other things we watched as kids that seem a tad silly now.

    RWS: It most certainly counts! I won't egg you on to read the book... it shall find you, if it must. That crush on Yokozuna was a major major major reason... oh RWS, HOW well you know me! :D

    Silvara: OH gawd Silvara I am SO envious of you!!!! I want to go to Japan and be able to read Japanese too!!! The food IS amazing isn't it?! Would you mind doing a post on your time there and of those books/dishes/people/memories that stayed with you? Or have you done that already? I'd love to read that!

    La vida Loca: Sari sari!

    Pixie: Wow that's some exposure you've had to Japan and the Japanese!

    Flygye12: Oh dear! That doesn't sound very good. There always two sides to a coin though... do the post? pretty please?

    Thought Bubbles: I DID!!! I have the DVD and watch it every no and then... loved it! The sequence where she's being trained and is finally transformed into a Maiko, the music in that part makes my hair stand on end every single time! And the kimono she wears in the last scene? The one with Autumn leaves on it? I think it's one of the most beautiful things I've seen!

    Vaudevillian: Konbanwa! :) Yes, will do!

    Jayded: My! That's high praise! Thank you very much, blogging is more pleasurable when appreciated :) I haven't watched the first two movies (not much of a cinema person really) but I did watch the last one. Thought it was a very well-done movie... and that's got nothing to do with Tom Cruise's presence it it! :)

    One of my other blogger friends is also quite a fan of Rome and Romans, you guys might have much to talk about. Look up 'Amey' on my blogroll. And I hope we see you here again!

    Aditya: And just WHAT am I supposed to do with the main page, pray? :)

    Rayshma: Wrong? Who said anything about it being wrong?! I only said I wasn't going to do it :D You think of an apt item number now, that might work better ;)

  12. erm.. top of mind.. i can think of a song from a sidey flick called dushman duniya ka.
    "mere saamne... gudiya japaani hai.."
    the 3rd line goes.. "paani mein jawaani paani paani ho jaaye.."

    don't ask me why i rber it... i can now visualize you singing it!!! :D

  13. Hate Sushi but loved Oshin as a kid :)

    BTW Sayonara ala Asha Parekh? :))

  14. I'm fascinated by Japan too, although I can't bring myself to read the kind of stuff that you're reading. But do pick up 'Dave Barry Does Japan' for a different and brilliantly funny perspective on Japan.

    I really want to visit the place and yes, come back with a katana. Although I've heard they are mighty expensive.

  15. I was wondering what it meant. Thanks :P

  16. OMG Oshin! That word fell on my ears after so many many years..brought back some really wonderful memories.. Loved it and never missed an episode.

    About the review - yes, yes, please do. You are right about the translation thingy, but hey, we love to hear what YOU have to say anyway :)

  17. Rayshma: I'm sticking to singing 'Sayonara', in my head.

    Solilo: Yes the very one! Or Asha Parke, as a friend's mother used to say. (Parke=broom in Kannada :P)

    Ashish: I think Dave Barry should hire you for his publicist. You'd do a brilliant job of it :D And yes, Katanas = awesome!

    Aditya: Hmpfh :P

    AlwaysHappyKya: :) Yeah I loved Oshin too! And yes I am doing the review in parts... will have to start taking notes as I read.

  18. For some reason, Japan always reminds me of Jaggesh who keeps calling this guy as japaan kulla!

    No touristy stuff yet.. recession has hit the family :P Maybe something in may/june.

    btw.. LOL at asha parke :)

  19. You know, as soon as I read the first few lines... I remembered 'Oshin' and then was thrilled when read further to see that you too had mentioned it! Wasn't it lovely? Sigh! good old days!
    Yes, please do the review... whether in parts or fully... it will be an interesting read!
    And Asha Parke?!! too good! :D

  20. Oooooooh..Japan.. Sushi, sashimi, tempura, tepenyaki, wasabe.....

    Oh whats that, we are talking about books??

    Ahem. Yes yes, do book reviews!! :D

    hehehehe :P

  21. Anna Bond: Wasn't there some Rajkumar song with the words japan and kulla in it?! Can't remember it right now but it was rather popular I remember.

    Anu: Oshin was something else! :) Doing the review, yes. And my friend's mother does have a rather strange sense of humour, really :D

    M: You wake up from your slumber to fantasise about food :P So what's new eh? :D Haan yes, I'm doing the review, in parts. Soon.

  22. I love Japan too.. the only daroo I can silly over is sake. Mmmmmmm... I'd like to read a Japanese horror novel.

  23. i loved oshin a lot. there are some similarities with the japanese and the manipuri culture. maybe, i should post about it someday. i am watching a lot of chinese movies and reading books by chinese authors on the other hand.

  24. Chandni: Yes, it's being drafted now :)

    Pitu: I've never had sake, what's it like? And yeah, the Japansese seem to do the horror genre rather well. I quite like their graphic novels...

    Arunima: Do the post!!!! What movies/books have you been reading? Tried Amy Tan? She gets repetitive sometimes but I still like her work :) I chanced upon a Korean soap one time... liked it!

  25. Memoirs of a Geisha was more about geishas than about Japan. I loved it nevertheless :)

    And hey, I'm blogrolling you!