Translation Works
To Japanese
The 1st Selected Works
(Ijintachi tono natsu)
ENGLISH / Wayne P. Lammers published
RUSSIAN / Andrey Zamilov published
Originally Published by:
Shinchosha (1987)
Shhinchosha (1991) (pb)
  • A novel written by Taichi Yamada, a man who enriched the history of Japanese television by writing the script for many of Japan's outstanding TV dramas
A summer that is too quiet; an encounter with parents who are supposed to be dead…
A TV scriptwriter has left his wife and come to pass lonely days living in a condominium unit he previously used as an office. Having expended considerable emotional energy at the time of his divorce, he feels no need to have any contact with people for any reason including pleasure. However, his condo is in an area where the buildings predominantly house offices, and the fearsome quietness of the nights there makes it impossible for him not to feel lonely.
One day the writer goes to Asakusa to listen to a rakugo comic monolog performance and encounters a man who looks uncannily like his father did at the time he died, when the writer was only 12. The man invites him to visit his home, and he accepts. At the man's home, the writer meets a woman who looks exactly like his mother did when she died long ago. The writer is paralyzed and tears come to his eyes. However, the home is furnished with modern electronic products with remote controls, and other things that do not seem like the kinds of things his late parents would have.
The 40-something writer is put at ease by the couple, who could not possibly be older than their 30s, looking after him as if he were their son. Seeking the mysterious relaxation and peace he feels with the couple, the writer repeatedly goes to visit them in Asakusa. He feels happiness and joy when spending time with the couple but begins to notice himself simultaneously becoming haggard and gaunt.
The writer's young lover, who is also living in his building, starts to be worried about his health and pleads with him to never meet with the couple again. Despite this, the writer continues to sneak away from her to visit his parents in Asakusa…
Taiichi Yamada's masterpiece describes a summer of strange encounters with people from a different world.
Genre: Popular fiction
Awards: 1st Yamamoto Shugoro Prize
(Given for novels/literature with outstanding narratives)