Mikumari is the shortest coming of age/love/awakening story I’ve ever read. It is about a schoolboy and his affairs with a married woman. On the other hand, it is about his relationship with his mother (who happens to be a midwife) and his school crush.
Most of the things are different in Japan and sex is not an exception. Reading about a teenage boy’s complicated sex life shouldn’t fascinate an adult woman, but it does. It does because Misumi Kubo is an excellent author, and if you want to learn more about Japan, its fiction is like a guidebook.
To sum up, our schoolboy meets a married woman ten years his senior. They have an intense affair; it is strange and mostly about sex. While trying to figure out this affair, he helps his mother, thus helps women give birth to children. Oh, there is also his school crush, waiting for him with all her innocence. Enjoy!
A schoolboy is in his senior year when he attends Comiket, a comic market in Tokyo. There, he meets a married woman ten years his senior, a cosplayer who goes by the name of Anzu. Drawn to his resemblance to a character from an anime series, he and Anzu begin an intense affair. Over time, he becomes increasingly wary of his relationship with Anzu, but, at the same time, he finds himself unable to leave her.
Barton’s translation masterfully captures the witty, boisterous tone in which Kubo writes, rendering for us in English the inner thoughts of a teenage boy growing up in Japan. Dealing with themes of sex, fertility and the female boy, Mikumari explores the complex relationship between private desire and popular culture in modern times.
Misumi Kubo is a Japanese writer. She has won the R-18 Literary Award, the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize, and the Yamada Fūtarō Prize, and she has twice been nominated for the Naoki Prize. Her work was adapted into the 2012 film The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: