Coming in Spring 2023:
Miri Yū: Uenon asema. Translator: Raisa Porrasmaa. Publisher: Sammakko Kustannus. Japanese: JR Ueno eki kōenguchi, 2014. English: Tokyo Ueno Station, 2020, tr. by Morgan Giles.
Miri Yū´s (b. 1968) book has serious themes: social conditions in Japan both today and yesterday such as homeless people, marginalization, natural catastrophes etc. Miri Yū knows what she is talking about: she herself is a member of one of Japan´s minorities, zainichi, i.e. person born and living in Japan but having Korean background and Korean nationality. She has been living on the fringes of Japanese society and it is reflected in her work. The protagonist of the book is Kazu acting as the spirit of a deceased homeless person. Through his story we get to know the kind of Japan not known by many.
Coming in Summer 2023:
Natsume Sōseki: Unta kymmenen yötä. Translator: Aleksi Järvelä. Publisher: Teos. Japanese: Yume jūya and Eijitsu shōhin. English: Ten nights of dreams and Spring Miscellany.
These are two collections of stories by one of Japan´s most famous writers, Natsume Sōseki (1867– 1916). Sōseki lived and wrote in Meiji-period (1868–1916), which was the period of modernization in Japan in all walks of life, not least in literature. Considered to be the first international intellectual in Japan he is dealing with big ethical questions in his works. So far practically only his main work, Kokoro, has been translated into Finnish (Kai Nieminen, 1985). Translations of his other works are more than welcome.
Coming in Autumn 2023:
Emi Yagi: Tyhjyyden päiväkirja (working title). Translator: Raisa Porrasmaa. Publisher: Otava. Japanese: Kūshintechō, 2020. English: Diary of a Void, 2022, tr. by David Boyd and Lucy North.
Emi Yagi (b. 1988) is an editor of women´s magazine and this is her first novel. The story evolves around a fake pregnancy of a young female employee in a company while she tries to avoid the menial tasks, discrimination and even harassment often experienced by young women at work. With pregnancy everything changes, or does it? The book is entertaining but also brings forth some serious considerations about Japanese society and especially women´s role in it.
Troll (Yōko Tanaka, illustr. Masahide Fukasawa): Mestarietsivä Peppunen. Mestarietsivä rakastuu?! Translator: Mayu Saaritsa. Publisher: Nemo, Helsinki.
Japanese: Oshiri tantei. English: The Butt Detective. Oshiri tantei no koi!!?
The Butt Detective series is as popular in Finland as it is anywhere. The 11th book of the series was published in Finnish in the beginning of the year. The witty humour of the book cleverly translated by Mayu Saaritsa keeps younger and a little older readers in its grip.