Thursday, November 4, 2010

Booktalk: Red Snow

I must apologize, but my first post is going to be a Japanese literature geek-out.  While obsessively reading all of the graphic novel section of my local library (yes, guys, I'm the one who took out thirty volumes from this section alone two days ago-sorry), I stumbled upon something new and significantly different than my usual diet of bad shoujo and even worse re-adaptations of Shakespeare's works.  So, I decided to share with the class.  Never having actually taken a formal reader’s advisory class, I decided to follow Gwen’s formula.   This turned out to be harder than I thought it would be and I failed marvelously.  I’m not exactly known for my brevity, having once talked for over three hours about the significance of the cat in early Little Red Riding Hood stories, and I have a feeling that I didn’t chose the easiest genre to start out with. Hm… here’s hoping I improve.  This is quite a bit different than telling a four-year-old why they will really like a particular book about princesses even if it doesn’t star Ariel or Belle.   
Here you go: 

Katsumata Susumu’s Red Snow is a compilation of the famed manga-ka’s (manga creator) short manga works.  The stories evoke traditional Japanese literature themes and folklore, with stories ranging from a beleaguered village getting revenge through a Kappa-lord’s own offspring to a young boy’s relationship with a girl and the origin of a blind musician’s apprentice.   I like his simple art style and love his portrayal of kappa and tanuki, while the stories themselves remind me collectively of Buson Yosa’s haikai (the formalized precursor to haiku), Basho, and  Akinari/Kijin’s Ugetsu Monogatari (Tales of Moonlight and Rain).  
As an ending note, beware: Katsumata’s work is not intended for kids; like most Japanese literature, it contains adult themes and images.

Before I go I would like to state that while I may kinda look like Sailor Moon, my hair is never worn in bun-pigtails and I fight evil in my day clothes, thank you very much. 

1 comment:

  1. You so did not fail, marvelously or not! This was great. I can now name one (1) piece of manga in the entire world and I look forward to be able to name more.