The Friends – Kazumi Yumoto

I’ve read Kazumi Yumoto first the first time, and like every time I read a Japanese writer, I fell in love with the writing. When a dear friend saw The Friends, she thought of me and bought it immediately. This beautiful book left the effect that many adult books could not, even though it was a children’s book. I was both hopeful, happy and in love with literature again.


The Friends is about the events that take place between three children and an older man. You’ll be reading about growth, death, friendship and love. It is so beautiful that I was so happy when the book finished. Since it is a children’s book, it is only a hundred and eighty pages, but I wish it were at least a thousands of pages.

The Friends - Kazumi Yumoto

Some books manage to change people; this is one of the most beautiful examples. Throughout the book, I was a child with children and followed them through the gardens and roads. I’ve felt better than ever. I felt this strange hope rather than feeling just happy. Don’t know exactly what I was hoping for, but I think this book made me look at life with hopeful eyes. I found a part of me in every child and that beautiful older man. I began to look at life more beautifully and lovingly. As you can see, I can’t stop praising the book.

I hope you can add it to your library as soon as possible, and anyone in your family, child or adult, can read it. Enjoy!

About the book: The Friends

Overwhelmed with curiosity about death and hoping to see it firsthand, three boys are fascinated with an old man in the neighbourhood, a fascination that becomes a friendship, and when the old man dies, the boys experience true mourning rather than satisfaction.

The Friends is the winner of the 1997 Boston Globe – Horn Book Award for Fiction.


About the author: Kazumi Yumoto

Kazumi Yumoto was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1959 and got into literature via music. She studied composition at Tokyo College of music and during this time wrote opera libretti and plays for radio and television.

The Friends - Kazumi Yumoto

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Japanese Literature – A Literary Journey

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