Ms Ice Sandwich – Mieko Kawakami

Ms Ice Sandwich is one of the books that remind me why I love Japanese literature so much. It is great to know that a Japanese author can make me believe in humanity amidst all the awful things that we have to endure nowadays. This book, which is not about anything, in particular, managed to make me happy only with its characters.


Ms Ice Sandwich - Mieko Kawakami

Ms Ice Sandwich is about a young boy admiring the beauty of the woman standing at the sandwich counter in a supermarket. This woman’s big and fascinating eyes make this young boy, our narrator, so happy that he goes to buy sandwiches every day, even if he doesn’t like them very much.

Then, we leave this interesting woman and return to the school life and friends of our narrator. We know the students in his class and Tutti, who will soon become his closest friend. While looking at his relationship with his elderly grandmother, we also listen to his highly busy mother.

I do not know whether the story is told through the eyes of a young child or because the book does not have serious messages, but I finished reading it with pleasure. Since it is already less than a hundred pages, most readers will finish it in one sitting as well. This will be perfect if you are commuting. Enjoy!

Ms Ice Sandwich - Mieko Kawakami

Ms Ice Sandwich

Ms Ice Sandwich seems to lack social graces, but our young narrator is totally smitten with her. He is in awe of her aloofness, her skill at slipping sandwiches into bags, and, most electric of all, her ice-blue eyelids. Every day he is drawn to the supermarket just to watch her in action. But life has a way of interfering – there is his mother, forever distracted, who can tell the fortunes of women; his grandmother, silently dying, who listens to his heart; and his classmate, Tutti, no stranger to pain, who shares her private thrilling world with him.

Tender, warm, yet unsentimental, Ms Ice Sandwich is a story about new starts, parents who have departed, and the importance of saying goodbye.

Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami is a Japanese singer, blogger, and writer from Osaka. Her work has won prestigious Japanese literary awards in several genres. Including the 138th Akutagawa Prize for her novella Breats and Eggs.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Japanese Literature – A Literary Journey

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