Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Last Children of Tokyo
The Last Children of Tokyo | Y?ko Tawada
Yoshiro thinks he might never die. A hundred years old and counting, he is one of Japan's many 'old-elderly'; men and women who remember a time before the air and the sea were poisoned, before terrible catastrophe promted Japan to shut itself off from the rest of the world. He may live for decades yet, but he knows his beloved great-grandson - born frail and prone to sickness - might not survive to adulthood. Day after day, it takes all of Yoshiro's sagacity to keep Mumei alive. As hopes for Japan's youngest generation fade, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure - might Yoshiro's great-grandson be the key to saving the last children of Tokyo?
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
quote
charl08

The minute you said, "It's very warm" you'd be shivering: no sooner were the words "It's awfully nippy this the morning" out of your mouth than your forehead would be damp with sweat.

A month before, someone had put up a poster on the wall outside the elementary school: NO ONE SPEAKS OF THE WEATHER ANYMORE OR REVOLUTION EITHER.

charl08 In bold fancy lettering, it was a take on the famous quotation, WHILE PEOPLE SPEAK ONLY OF THE WEATHER I SPEAK OF REVOLUTION-but the very next day some one took it down. 3mo
40 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
charl08
post image

This faintly sour black bread was called "Aachen," written with Chinese characters that meant "Pseudo Opium." The baker had named each variety of bread he baked after a German city, which he wrote in Chinese characters with roughly the same pronunciation, so that Hanover meant "Blade's Aunt," Bremen "Wobbly Noodles," and Rothenberg "Outdoor Hot Springs Haven."

52 likes1 stack add
review
ju.ca.no
Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

Finished this book! It‘s about a post apocalyptic Japan which has been sealed off from the rest of the world. There wasn‘t much story to follow, it was mainly a description of the strange new world they were living in. You do learn the background of the two main characters - Yoshiro who is from a generation that just grows older and older and his great grandson Mumey, who, like all kids, was born sick in a sick world. Quick &interesting read 4/5⭐️

LauraJ Your cats look exhausted! 3mo
ju.ca.no @LauraJ sleeping the entire time just makes you more sleepy it seems😅 3mo
kspenmoll Fluffy babies!😺 3mo
55 likes3 comments
blurb
Dilara
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Three years after everybody else, I am at last starting The Emissary!

aperfectmjk Never even heard of it. 🤷‍♀️ 9mo
Dilara Oh well 😊! It's a short dystopic novel about life in a polluted, self-isolating Japan, where old people live forever, and children are sickly and fragile. It won the National Book Award for Translated Literature in 2018, and deservedly so, I think! 9mo
bnp Gonna try his new one, Scattered all over the earth? 9mo
Dilara @bnp Very much shut in their local area and Japanese island, with limited contact with other Japanese islands, and none with the outside world! 9mo
17 likes3 stack adds4 comments
review
natashalb
post image
Mehso-so

Set in a near distant future Tokyo, the world has been ravaged by man-made disasters and while the elderly generation seemingly live on indefinitely the younger generations are growing exceedingly more feeble and are dying out. The short story follows Mumei, who is looked after by his great grandfather Yoshiro.

review
vlwelser
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

This is a post-apocalyptic novel from Japan. The young people are unable to function because the environment is poison so the elderly are taking care of everything. It's a cute story about a man taking care of his great grandson. Isolationism and climate change are recurring themes. I liked it a lot. It's a really quick #audiobook.

blurb
CoveredInRust
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

And now for something totally different.

blurb
cajunsyd
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

36 likes3 stack adds
quote
Lexica10
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

He kept all the old useless words in the drawers of his brain, never letting them go.

review
LTOC
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
Pickpick

A beautiful, warming little book that has the cathartic effect of crying. Incredibly and impeccably translated. You just know you‘ll read it again one day, as if with an old friend

blurb
Sapphire
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Tucking into this one this afternoon, hoping to finish. I am usually a one book at a time reader, but I seem to have quite a few going right now between Kindle, paper, and audio...

Sapphire I did not like the ending 3y
16 likes1 comment
review
saresmoore
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

This book is a little gem. I enjoyed everything about it from the strange dystopian premise to the undercurrent of melancholic hope, but especially the characters. The translation is excellent; Mitsutani manages to convey Tawada‘s fascinating ruminations on the nature of language and doesn‘t lose an ounce of the humor that makes the book wholly unique. It‘s just the right combination of weird, sad, and delightful. #witreadathon

batsy That final line—it feels like it's calling to me! Wonderful review 💙 3y
saresmoore @batsy It is most definitely calling to you! 3y
89 likes6 stack adds2 comments
quote
saresmoore
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

“Finally, she blushed. Yoshiro felt his chest tighten. He had fallen into that strange hole called love, and didn‘t have the strength to pull himself out again. He surrendered, squatting on the ground, covering his face with his hands.”

77 likes1 comment
quote
saresmoore
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

“When the coughing stopped, Mumei would go back to drinking his juice as if nothing had happened. Looking up at Yoshiro, he would ask in surprise, ‘Great-grandpa, are you all right?‘ He didn‘t seem to know what ‘suffering‘ meant; he simply coughed when food wouldn‘t go down, or vomited it back up... (cont.) 👇

saresmoore “...Of course he felt pain, but it was pure pain, unaccompanied by any ‘Why am I the only one who has to suffer like this?‘ sort of lamentations that Yoshiro knew so well. Perhaps this acceptance was a treasure given to the youngest generation. Mumei didn‘t know how to feel sorry for himself.” #witreadathon 3y
merelybookish Based on the quotes you've posted, this book sounds fascinating! 3y
saresmoore @merelybookish Honestly, I‘m surprised by how much I‘m enjoying it. It‘s very quirky and non-linear with a depressing premise, but I‘m finding it readable and oddly uplifting. 3y
78 likes5 stack adds3 comments
quote
saresmoore
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

“In his youth, Yoshiro had prided himself on always having an answer ready when someone asked him who his favorite composer or designer was, or what kind of wine he preferred. Confident in his good taste, he had poured time and money into surrounding himself with things that would show it off. Now he no longer felt any need to use taste as the bricks and mortar for a structure called ‘individuality.‘”

Hooked_on_books What a fun cover! 3y
saresmoore @Hooked_on_books It‘s a quirky little book, so I think the cover fits! 3y
See All 8 Comments
saresmoore @Lindy I am absolutely loving this book! I‘m so glad you recommended it. 🍞🍊 3y
Lindy @saresmoore 🥳🥳🥳 3y
Sapphire That quote really jumped out at me too! I am about 40 pages in... 3y
saresmoore @Sapphire How are you liking it, so far? 3y
Sapphire Really liking it. It startles you quite often with one profound thing or another! 3y
79 likes3 stack adds8 comments
blurb
mhillis
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Reading my second book for Women in Translation month: The Emissary by Yoko Tawada and translated by Margaret Mitsutani 🍊
#currentlyreading #coverlove #womenintranslation #wit #witmonth

llawela Ooo nice cover. Looking fwd to your review. 3y
71 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
alysonimagines
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

I‘ve never read anything quite like The Emissary. The story revolves primarily around the viewpoints of Mumei, a frail but vivacious boy, and Yoshiro, his spry great-grandfather, who are living in a post-apocalyptic Japan where the elderly never die and the children age prematurely. More stream-of-consciousness than linear narrative, this book is sad, bizarre, and satirical by turns, but maintains a dreamlike and surprisingly lighthearted tone.

alysonimagines BTW its surreal quality makes this book the perfect companion for insomnia. I read a good chunk on a sleepless night, and I felt like I was dreaming with my eyes open! 3y
9 likes1 comment
review
Kathrin
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Mehso-so

The book had some definite highlights and I liked how humor was splashed into a pretty grave situation. But overall it was way to scattered to really work for me.

I read this for task 10 of the #RHC (A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman), but it would also work as #clifi for #booked2019

17 likes1 stack add
review
Lindy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

Reactions at bookclub last night:
-Couldn‘t make heads or tails X 3
-Interesting but flawed X 2
-Sad & loved it X 1
-Hilarious & loved it X 2, including me.

Zippy, introspective, atmospheric & delightfully bizarre. #translation by Margaret Mitsutani

Cinfhen I like the reaction guide 🙌🏻 4y
Lindy @Cinfhen When we were sharing our favourite passages last night, two of us kept chortling while others were scratching their heads. 🤪 4y
Mdargusch Quite a mixed reaction 🤔 4y
See All 8 Comments
Lindy @Mdargusch Indeed. I happened to have also enjoyed Tawada‘s 4y
Reggie Lololol I felt this way looking at all the reviews after reading Milkman. 4y
Lindy @Reggie Award winners are more likely to have strong mixed reactions, aren‘t they? 4y
Kathrin I just started this one... I am just a couple of minutes in, but the breads named after German cities made me smile! 4y
Lindy @Kathrin 😁🥖👍 4y
42 likes2 stack adds8 comments
blurb
Lindy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Book discussion is on Tuesday. So much to talk about!

quote
Lindy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

The character for “nettles,” with all its diagonal slashes, brought the sheer joy of writing back to Yoshiro. He always wrote it slowly, like a young cat scratching the bark of a tree with its claws.

quote
Lindy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

It wasn‘t only fruit. Cabbage and burdock root, too, with their barricades of finely woven fibre, seemed to tease, “Just try eating us!” Plants might look placid on the surface, but they refuse to give an inch. And it was this stubbornness he resented. And so his knife headed straight for its target, never hesitating, never stopping, slicing right into it.

mhillis Reading this now and I highlighted this quote because it made me think of the burdock salad!! 3y
Lindy @mhillis 😁It‘s delicious and I‘ve discovered that it freezes well. I still have one small container left in the freezer. 3y
mhillis @Lindy That‘s good to know! I hadn‘t thought about freezing it! 3y
Lindy @mhillis The texture is unchanged. If you recall, I used only burdock root, not other vegetables. The Korean name for the dish is woowong bokkeum. 3y
34 likes4 comments
quote
Lindy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Having read Zucked makes the following passage from The Emissary even more resonant:
“Because the data that each clinic delivered to the Medical Research Centre were handwritten copies of handwritten originals, any attempt at erasing or tampering with large amounts of data would take an awfully long time. In this sense, the current system was far safer than the security systems invented by even the best computer programmers in earlier times.

8little_paws Someone at book club highly recommended Zucked 4y
Lindy @8little_paws It‘s worthy. 👍 4y
37 likes2 comments
quote
Lindy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

“…people don‘t seem to remember that ‘bread‘ is a foreign word.”
“Bread reminds you of faraway lands—that they exist, I mean—that‘s what I like about it. I‘d rather eat rice, but bread sets you dreaming.”

quote
Lindy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Ah, this tough, unyielding rind, with its strong yet elegant white citrus gloves beneath, surrounding each section with its many juice sacs to hold the precious liquid, all determined not to let a single drop escape. Why must you put so many wrappings in the way, preventing my beloved great-grandson from enjoying the sweetness of your juice!

erzascarletbookgasm What fruit is that? 😮 4y
Soubhiville Mmmmm, I love citrus! 4y
Lindy @erzascarletbookgasm It‘s the biggest pomelo I‘ve ever seen. 4y
Lindy @Soubhiville Me too. 😊 4y
LeahBergen What the?? 😮 4y
47 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
mreads
Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

The ultimate love triangle, Manfred a German living/teaching in New York, Michael an American living/teaching in Japan and Mamoru a Japanese living/teaching in Germany. All former lovers. The story takes place over a day and shifts from one place and person to another during the same time or not given the Time Difference.

4th of 8 Keskihi chap books.
Time Differences is not in the litsy system so I've tagged another Tawada I'd recommend.

review
Abailliekaras
post image
Bailedbailed

This is an intelligent, thoughtful book. But I‘m putting it aside for now. The premise is bleak (the human race is being wiped out) - I don‘t like dystopia & sci-fi generally so I‘m probably not the right reader for this one. And the pace is gentle & meditative which, combined with the eery world of the story, isn‘t gripping me. I thought I‘d do better once I ‘got into it‘ but I haven‘t wanted to pick it up. Will reward the right reader though.

review
suvata
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

Dystopian Japanese fiction — Seriously, what more can you ask for?

candority I love that cover! 4y
63 likes4 stack adds1 comment
review
j9brown
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

This was a very quiet little dystopian slice-of-life. I loved Yoshiro, his vivid imagination, his relationship with his great-grandson; and I loved Mumei's innocent wisdom.

I get why it's getting a low rating, there was barely any plot to speak of, and I feel like I missed something with the ending. I really enjoyed reading this, though. And it's short, which was kind of refreshing!

35 likes1 stack add
blurb
suvata
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Winner, National Book Awards 2018 for Translated Literature

Thought I would give this short novel (less than 150 pages) a try to get another book in by the end of the month. LOL

ReadingOver50 Looks good. I love Japanese fiction. 4y
j9brown Funny, I just started this same book today, too! Really enjoying it so far 😊 4y
suvata @j9brown Well, you know, great minds think alike. 😊 4y
65 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
rmaclean4
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

I need to think about this book for a while. Japanese novel set in the future where the very elderly are stronger than the new generations. Compelling accessible writing...not sure I am smart enough to fully get the ending of this short novel. Well worth a read. First book in a long time that has prompted me to look up literary criticism about the work. If you have read it I would love to hear your thoughts about the ending.

abbielistenstobooks Your review makes me want to read it! 4y
15 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
rmaclean4
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image

Next up on Scribd! Excited to hear/read this one. I will switch back and forth between the paper back and audio.

Weaponxgirl Ohh, I‘m gonna have to look for that 4y
12 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
ReadingEnvy
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Pickpick

In a near future Japan that has once again shut itself off from the world, after environmental issues have caused the elderly to live longer while the children seem unsustainable.

It won this year's National Book Award for translated literature, and kudos go to the translator for being able to communicate nuance of the Chinese alphabet, Japanese figures of speech, without interrupting the flow of the narrative.

RealLifeReading Love that! 4y
Soubhiville That‘s cool 4y
69 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Floresj
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Mehso-so

A national book award winner for translation. I felt like I was wandering with the main character through this intriguing Japanese dystopian society. At times, I really liked it, but other times, I had absolutely no idea what was going on.

8 likes1 stack add
blurb
DennisJacobRosenfeld
post image

Somehow I completely missed this when it was called The Emissary. Now, under its new title, it was brought to my attention. I‘m really excited for this one. Gorgeous design as well.

review
mreads
The Emissary | Y?ko Tawada
post image
Mehso-so

Set in a near future dystopian Japan cuts itself off from the world. Children are weak and age rapidly but are free of self-pity and pessimism while the elderly have strength and stamina and it seems immortality. There are hints that the elders lifestyle lead to the catastrophe and their immorality their punishment.

review
readingjedi
Panpan

This was one of those books that, probably through no fault of its own, did absolutely nothing for me. It just utterly past me by. The premise, promising & intriguing as it was, was just so disappointingly unrealized, underdeveloped and, well, wasted. The plot was practically non-existent and I hated the ending. Really not what I enjoy.

review
Lel2403
post image
Pickpick

The story does jump from different perspectives and times but I didn‘t find it confusing and it just built the story and characters well. Yoko Tawada, has written an almost poetic tale and she made Mumei and Yoshiro so real I felt for them both and the atmosphere she built stayed with me for some time. I will be reading this again, probably several times. I loved it.

29 likes1 stack add