Translation Works
To Japanese
The 4th Selected Works
In and Around Yukinuma
In and Around Yukinuma
(Yukinuma to sono shuhen)
FRENCH / Anne Bayard-Sakai published
Originally Published by:
Shinchosha (2003)
  • Collection of interconnected short stories depicting the bittersweet lives of people in the sleepy mountain town of Yukinuma, the sort of universal town that can be found anywhere in the world.
  • Portrays the quiet melancholy of people living in an old-fashioned, genteel mountain town.
A bowling centre that has struggled to survive for over 20 years is about to close down. On its last day, not a single customer comes. Just after 9pm a young couple suddenly appear, and the owner gives them the bowling centre's last game for free. While hearing the sound of the bowling ball crash down the pins, memories flood back to the owner of his dead wife and friends. He has passed the age at which his own father died, and has abandoned so many of his dreams and ambitions, but is his spot in life really alright. This collection of short stories focuses on the people living in the quiet little mountain town of Yukinuma as they run the bowling centre, or a French cooking school, a record shop, carton manufacturing plant, or calligraphy school. The sorrows and joys of their hitherto unspoken lives, going about the daily grind, are portrayed in fine detail. Sutansu Dotto is a fine work that won the Kawabata Prize for the most outstanding short story that year. As a series of interrelated short stories, Yukinuma to sono shuhen has also won the Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize and the Kiyama Shohei Prize. It is a masterpiece set in the universal hometown of Yukinuma, described by the writer Natsuki Ikezawa as a place "behind the times, quiet, and somewhat genteel". Not only is Horie an author who continues to win Japan's main literary awards, he is also a scholar of French literature and a professor at Waseda University, as well as a translator.