vendredi 7 septembre 2007

Culture and dialect in modern day Kyoto

This holiday marked a significant one because I finally managed to sit down and finish up all those library books grrrrr...I swear reading in my third language is harder than I thought.

きょうのできごと スペシャル・エディション
きょうのできごと スペシャル・エディション田中麗奈 妻夫木聡 伊藤歩

レントラックジャパン 2004-08-25
売り上げランキング : 32590

おすすめ平均 star

Amazonで詳しく見る by G-Tools

青空感傷ツアー (河出文庫)
青空感傷ツアー (河出文庫)柴崎 友香

河出書房新社 2005-11
売り上げランキング : 76021

おすすめ平均 star

Amazonで詳しく見る by G-Tools

I re-watched "kyou no dekigoto" and I re-read the above book by Tomoka Shibasaki. Interesting book, with a natural Kansai ben inflection. I loved it. If you are a fan or fetish of Japanese dialects, this book is for you :)

The story, Kyou no dekigoto, is quite similar to Aozora. It depicts the everyday life of a typical University student (in this case, students from Kyoto/Kansai area), and it also shows the normal type of relationships and fights that Japanese youth get into, so it's quite unlike the fluff in drama series. Further more, the writer is from the Kansai area so her books and language are littered with Kansai ben. If you know Kansai ben, each sentence ends off differently from what you would recognise as typical Japanese formal type of writing.

Like most bizarre Japanese novels, this combines an encounter with a whale, a guy who got stuck between two buildings in a narrow hole, a student who got knocked down while buying beer, a bum, uncertain relationships, friendships, haircuts and quarrels in the local zoo...strange but spellbinding. I recommend this book if you're tired of the usual Murakami Ryo/Haruki madness.

I find Kansai ben quite sexy :D or Eroi/iroppoi as it sounds rather direct and top that with a Kansai girl/guy who has drunk one sake too many ie a throaty voice speaking a dialect you'd hear in the mountain side of Kyoto.. and you get a mesmerising effect of both culture and direct earthiness in something as simple as a dialect inflection :)

On the other hand, I need to really get used to Banana's style with regards to her book below:

ハチ公の最後の恋人 (中公文庫)ハチ公の最後の恋人 (中公文庫)
吉本 ばなな

中央公論社 1998-08
売り上げランキング : 94257

Amazonで詳しく見る by G-Tools

I've yet to grasped it :( I liked Kitchen and Tsugumi, very much like Banana's world, but I've yet to grasp the subtle nuances. Some say she writes like a typical high school student. However, I think there's more to her writing than just that. I blame myself for my poor Japanese language :( Gotta try harder at it.

What I find interesting about Banana is that she combines the Japanese culture with Argentinian/Indian stuff mixed with other cultures. So you see a Japanese point of view of different cultures and yet it's rather fresh. Another writer who writes about travelling (albeit more directly) is Mitsuyo Kakuda I think.

This is the same type of feeling I get when I read Somerset Maugham or Rudyard Kipling.

The weekend is approaching and then it's the third term. Minna, gambarou!