Wednesday, February 4, 2009

with Ms. Akane (Makeup Artist).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Completed Works

Here, a list of my completed works that are available in English:

Kitchen - 1988
Asleep - 1989
Goodbye Tsugumi - 1989
NP - 1990
Lizard - 1998
Amrita - 1998
Hardboiled & Hard Luck - 1999

Slide 4

Sunday, February 1, 2009

strange sleeping style!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Banana Mania

I am well aware of the term "Banana Mania" which apparently became popular after the publication of my first book, Kitchen.

However, I must say that everybody seems to be interested in the number of books I sold and how much money I earned, rather than the content of my work. This makes me rather unhappy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yakitebichi (Okinawa Dish)

With Kengo Tarumi (The photographer which lives in Okinawa)

Monday, January 5, 2009

A few interesting links.

Here are a few links about me that you might find interesting:

1. An interview.

2. My Encyclopedia Britannica page!

A review by Matt Wilce.
"Certainly her readers would agree that she offers escapism, fun, and a view of modern Japanese life still tinted with a touch of the traditional sense of mono no aware - the pathos of things."

4. A book by Fimonobu Murakami that analyzes my life and works, along with other "post-modern" writers
Haruki Murakami, Yoshimoto Takaaki (my father!) and Karatani Kojin.
Get it here.

5. A review of Kitchen by Geraldine Sherman.

6. A very old critique of Japan's modern writers.

And lastly,

7. My personal website.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The tortoise found a place in the sun to bask in the warmth on it's own.
It makes me very happy!

An intricate Map of Okinawa my son made while in Okinawa.
He is a genius! (and I am a fond parent)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A little bit about me.

I was born on July 24th, 1964 as Yoshimoto Mahoko. My father is Takaai Yoshimoto, a famous figure in Japan that I am sure you all know about. He was the fighting force behind the youth radical movement in the sixties. Consequently, I grew up in a fairly liberal household. In high school, I even moved in with my boyfriend! My sister, Haruno Yoiko, is a famous cartoonist in Japan. Her artwork inspired me as a child to write. Slide 2

I went to Nihon University’s Art Division, majoring in literature. It was at this time that I chose my penname, Banana, because I love banana flowers. I think it is rather cute and androgynous. My graduation story, Moonlight Shadow won the Izumi Kyoka Prize from the faculty. After graduation was when I started to seriously think about writing. I would often write during my breaks when waitressing. It was then when I wrote Kitchen, arguably one of my most famous works. My writing is very influenced by Truman Capote and Stephen King - especially his non-horror works.

I like to keep my personal life very private. I married by husband in 2003, who is a certified Rolfer, and our son was born in 2003. In essays I write about my son, but not as much in stories. After having my son, I tend to think I want to live longer. Before, I was just in a hurry to live.

I have been fortunate enough to attain many literary achievements. For example, I have won the Best Newcomer Artists Recommended Prize, the Kaien Newcomer Writer's Prize, the Umitsubame First Novel Prize, and the Izumi Kyoka Literary Prize. In addition, Kitchen has been translated into more than seven different languages. Kitchen and Goodbye Tsugumi have both been made into movies. In total, I have sold over 60 million copies worldwide. Slide 5

A lot of my critics like to point out the fun, escapist side of my writing. Some even say that it is superficial and specially catered for popular consumption. Sometimes, I feel guilty since I write my stories for fun, not for therapy. But I am not deterred from my ultimate dream of receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature.