[NOVEL] BLUE MOSHIKUWA BLUE – FUMIO YAMAMOTO

Summary: Souko at the age of 23 decided to get married with the amiable and liberal Sasaki who works for an advertising company, instead of the hard-working and loyal cook Kawami. Years later, Sasaki Souko meets her other self: Kawami Souko, the life that she gave up when she was young, is arm in arm with her former lover Kawami. Longing for a change, the two exchange lives for one month. In the search for new experience and meaning of life, Sasaki Souko has greatly disrupted the balance of her fate…

Her mouth tastes unpleasantly acrid and bitter. It is the taste of freedom she ever wished for.

One small thing to note is that all of the quotes here are my own translation because I don’t think this book has an English version yet (what a pity). They also made a drama adaption for the book in 2003. Blue Moshikuwa Blue is a perfect fun read for a lazy Sunday morning.

What if…?

The truth is that I don’t like books with fantasy. Not that they feel unreal; but mostly they don’t resonate with me and my experience. But this book is different. The best thing about Blue Moshikuwa Blue is that with a little imagination, the book satisfies a very basic yet existential need. Aren’t we always wondering what our life would be if we chose to this instead of that? Which one is the best decision? Making a decision, don’t we at least regret it once? Fumio Yamamoto offers us a chance to go on an adventure with Souko, to explore what it feels like to live the life she forwent. Things that don’t happen in real life happen in books. I know even before I open the first page that it would be a fun read: the storyline itself is captivating enough.

“Her voice does not sound like mine.”

blue

A different self

I think Fumio Yamamoto did a really good job of creating the other Souko, both similar and different from the main character. Similar in taste, hobby and memories; yet they are so different in the way they react to and deal with problems. Although the story starts out with a fantasy, everything follows is amazingly logical and relatable. The strange relationship between the two Souko has us realized that we are not entirely shaped by our childhood, or our parents: what makes us strong is the power to constantly change and adapt to our new environment; and that we are partly shaped by people around us. It is this logic behind Blue Moshikuwa Blue that makes the story so unique, yet at the same time makes so much sense. And there is no one who can make Souko question the life she have chosen more than the self whose life she let go years ago.

Souko hates this woman lying on the floor in front of her. She always thinks for herself, a capricious, ruthless, heartless woman.

(ALERT: a small spoiler below)

What I also like about the book is the fact that not everything is back to normal in the end; and that the book does not teach you something cliché like “remember to treasure what you have.” Human is more complex than that. As you go and learn about the different life you could have, there is no turning back. Even when you go back to your normal life, it would not be the same anymore. Maybe it’s just me because I’m back home this summer after a year studying abroad. But studying abroad is really like living another life, and everything in the book resonates with me.

Hope you enjoy ! xD

 

 

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