Book review: Strange Weather in Tokyo

Strange Weather in Tokyo - Hiromi Kawakami

You may have noticed I read a bit of Murakami. Just a bit. I also read A Tale for the Time Being last year which, although written by a Japanese author, was slightly different as it was first published in English. I have to admit that, even though I've always meant to read some more Japanese literature, I just never got around to seeking it out. Then I stumbled across this book in Smith's and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Strange Weather in Tokyo Hiromi Kawakami Review
At first, I was worried that I'd end up comparing it to Murakami but it turns out that I barely even thought of the similarities and differences with his fiction. Strange Weather in Tokyo tells the story of Tsukiko, a spirited and rather stubborn woman, who finds herself sat next to her old Japanese teacher as she drinks in a bar. Over time, they continue to bump into each other and gradually embark on a very touching friendship. Slowly, their friendship grows into an unlikely and slightly awkward love.
Strange Weather in Tokyo Hiromi Kawakami Extract
Tsukiko was a wonderful character. I loved her outward stubborness concealing the self-doubt she felt inside. Her teacher, Sensei, was a very calm, patient character, perfectly complementing Tsukiko's sometimes childish outbursts. Although they did sometimes have the sense of a teacher-pupil relationship, as their friendship developed, this levelled out and stopped their growing love from becoming uncomfortable.

Throughout the novel, there was a feeling of impending doom. I found myself begging everything to be ok and desperately skimming ahead to make sure things worked out alright in the end. I won't give away the ending but it was a beautiful, poignant, moving close to a really engaging book.
Strange Weather in Tokyo Hiromi Kawakami Book Blogger Review
Although I found it a bit slow at first, I was hooked by the end and I'll be looking to read more of Kawakami's work. This might be the beginning of a Japanese literature obsession. 

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  1. I love Murakami too and also read The Devotion Of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino last year. I really enjoyed that, dark but not too sinister.

    I'm looking for holiday reads so I think I'll give this a go.


  2. Definitely adding this to my reading list! Sounds lovely :) x

    Megan /

  3. Really want to get into more Japanese literature outside of Murakami so definitely adding this to my TBR list! Xoxo

  4. This sounds like a great book A Tale For The Time Being is on my TBR list.
    Water Painted Dreams xo


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