Translation Works
To Japanese
The 1st Selected Works
Bedtime Eyes
(Beddotaimu aizu / Yubi no tawamure / Jeshi no sebone)
ENGLISH / Marc Jardine & Yumi Gunji published
GERMAN / Ina Hein published
RUSSIAN / Alexander Kabanoff & Galina Dutkina published
Originally Published by:
Kawade Shobo Shinsha (1985)
  • A shocking debut work that portrays the relationship of a young Japanese woman and her black lover with daring sexual explicitness
  • Made into a movie directed by Tatsumi Kumashiro in 1987
Looks, touches, smells and tastes…stories of man and woman told using the vocabulary of all the five senses
Nightclub singer Kim is at a club at the Yokosuka Naval Base when she furtively glances at a black man, Spoon, who seems out of place in his black tie and tuxedo. As soon as their eyes meet, a relationship begins between Kim and Spoon. Having deserted from the navy, Spoon moves in with Kim, and they begin living together. However, Kim rebels against the part of her that is so drawn to Spoon and has sex with another man. One day, Kim finds Spoon in bed with Maria, a stripper whom she loves like a sister. Maria confesses that she has loved Kim for many years and that jealousy drove her to sleep with Spoon. This makes Kim feel even stronger love for Spoon. Suddenly one day, Kim gets a phone from the police, who then come and take Spoon away. Having lost Spoon, Kim sits stunned in her room. ("Bedtime Eyes")
At a party, Ruiko meets Leroy, who seems to be a boorish country hick. Leroy is tremendously infatuated with Ruiko, but their relationship does not last long. About the time that Ruiko gets a new boyfriend, Leroy returns to the United States and is discharged from the military. Several years later, Leroy becomes a successful jazz pianist and returns to Japan. Previously been dominated and treated like a slave by Ruiko, Leroy's love is now about to be avenged. ("The Piano Player's Fingers")
Koko is in a relationship with Rick, a divorced man living with his 11-year-old son, Jesse. When Rick goes back to his hometown to visit his sick father, Koko takes his place in taking care of Jesse. Trying to become better friends with Jesse, Koko gives him a present, but Jesse spits on her cheek even as he thanks her. Initially at the mercy of the demonic Jesse, Koko makes progress in improving her situation by twist and turns, and eventually comes to have a benevolent love for Jesse. ("Jesse")
GENRE: Popular fiction
Awards: 22nd Bungei Prize
(Given as a gateway to success for writers of high-impact works that break established boundaries.)