Time Differences – Yoko Tawada

Time Differences is the first book from the Keshiki series. It is a fascinating love story; actually, it may count as a love triangle. It is nothing like I’ve read before. I had to read it twice in order to understand what is going on in its entirety. Since it is only 40 pages long, rereading wasn’t a problem.


Time Differences - Yoko Tawada

Mamoru, Manfred and Michael live in different parts of the world. Mamoru lives in Berlin; Manfred lives in New York, and Michael lives in Tokyo. They spend their days thinking about the other. While the world keeps on turning; the longing for the other fills their precious moments. It is sad and magical at the same time. Love is, in the end, something crazy. Enjoy!

About the book: Time Differences

Mamoru wakes up at 9 am in Berlin, eats breakfast, and then sets off to teach a Japanese language class, carrying a sashimi knife in his bag. At this moment in New York, Manfred lurches from a dream where a fisherman was about to gut him he wakes just in time to make his morning work-out. Meanwhile, Michael is preparing to go to the late-night gym in Tokyo, thinking of a man he met in Berlin only weeks before. 

Tawada’s story follows the three men Mamoru, Manfred and Michael as they move through their lives on different sides of the globe. Though thousands of miles apart, odd moments of synchronicity form between these characters, the narrative shifting from one perspective to another as the three men’s lives momentarily align and diverge. Here, modernity is rendered textual as Tawada explores the strange nature of human connection in a globalized, technologized world, and discovers what this means for contemporary storytelling.


About the author: Yoko Tawada

Yōko Tawada is a Japanese writer currently living in Berlin, Germany. She writes in both Japanese and German.

Time Differences - Yoko Tawada

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Keshiki – New Voices from Japan

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