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Tokyo Ueno Station

Tokyo Ueno Station

Book - 2020
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"A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations. Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial family and has been shaped at every turn by modern Japanese history. But his life story is also marked by bad luck, and now, in death, he is unable to rest, doomed to haunt the park near Ueno Station in Tokyo. Kazu's life in the city began and ended in that park; he arrived there to work as a laborer in the preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and ended his days living in the vast homeless village in the park, traumatized by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and shattered by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics. Through Kazu's eyes, we see daily life in Tokyo buzz around him and learn the intimate details of his personal story, how loss and society's inequalities and constrictions spiraled towards this ghostly fate, with moments of beauty and grace just out of reach. A powerful masterwork from one of Japan's most brilliant outsider writers, Tokyo Ueno Station is a book for our times and a look into a marginalized existence in a shiny global megapolis"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2020.
Edition: First American edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780593088029
Call Number: FIC YU
Characteristics: 180 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Giles, Morgan - Translator
Bib Control Number: 1125200


From Library Staff

Have you ever wonder how they end up there? What are their real stories behind the surface? I am talking about the homeless people. Tokyo might connote bullet trains, skyscrapers, fashion, rich first world country in your mind. This fiction tells about the world of Tokyo that we don’t normally ... Read More »

Social conditions and reflections in Tokyo, Japan: Homelessness and the working class.

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Feb 17, 2021

profound sadness drowned chanting ghost,
the invisible vanished to lyrical signpost.

Jan 31, 2021

A book full of sadness and despair which nevertheless did not engage me. The great inequality between rich and poor is one theme.

Nov 28, 2020

Nat'l book award

Sep 15, 2019

An inner monologue about how a homeless man’s life ended up and ended at Ueno station. Kinda like the trajectory of a Rohinton Mistry novel, except not so brutal. May be too didactic for a Japanese reader, but I found all the cultural explanations informative.


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