Asian studies in Lithuania
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Kangaroo notebook

Authors: Abe, Kobo
Translated by: Baužytė-Čepinskienė, Galina
Translated from: French
Published on: 2005

Character of the novel is an average Japanese salary man working in the office supply store. Every employee has to introduce at least one idea per month. The main character thinks of Kangaroo notebook. It is a shapeless notebook which fits in the pocket and has pockets-pouches. The protagonist does not think it is a good idea, more like it is worthless. Next morning he wakes up feeling the itch on his legs. Then the unnamed character looks at his legs, he sees radish sprouts. Surprised of it, he decides to go to the dermatology clinic hoping to get help and recover from this strange “radish” sickness. More

The most beautiful Korean tales

Translated by: Seo, Jinseok
Translated from: Korean
Published on: 2005

“Graziausios Korejos pasakos” is a collection of nine Korean folk tales. The book was compiled and translated by Jinseok Seo, a Korean person who is studying Baltic studies, and illustrated by Eunok Kim Kang, a Korean woman currently living in Lithuania.

There is a saying that one of the best ways to learn about foreign culture is through tales and folklore. That is why while reading this collection of tales Lithuanian readers will be able to explore Korean culture, history and traditions in a funny way. Since from Lithuanian perspective Korea still is quite exotic and not that well known, these tales can help anyone to get to know this faraway place better. More

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Authors: See, Lisa
Translated by: Banelytė, Antanina
Translated from: English
Published on: 2005

This is a book which will not disappoint those who want to feel the culture of 19 century China, to understand how it is difficult to be a woman there and how a strong and sincere friendship could help get through to fate. “Snow Flower and the Secret fan“ is a novel about a girl Lily who lives in 19th century Hunan province.

In 19th century in all families daughters had their „Sworn sisters“ who were united not by the blood relation but by promise to behave like they would be real sisters. However. Lily was special and woman matchmaker find for her „laotong“ – soulmate (Snow Flower). There was a strong relation between the girls and this tie could be broken only the death of one of them. More

One Thousand li: Ancient Chinese wisdom

Translated by: Macevičius, Juozas
Translated from: (Lietuvių) nežinoma
Published on: 2005

“A journey of a thousand li starts beneath one’s feet“. – Chinese proverb

Over the ages an immense literary heritage has been collected in China. This set of aphorisms “A Thousand li: Ancient Chinese wisdom“ conveys sayings and proverbs of Ancient Chinese sages as well as philosophical and literary traditions of three philosophical schools: Confucianism, Taoism and Chan (Zen) Buddhism. There is no hostility between all of these teachings. More

The Ring

Authors: Suzuki, Koji
Translated by: Jėrinaitė, Jurgita
Translated from: Japanese
Published on: 2005

“The Steven King of Japan” Koji Suzuki created something that American horror writers can be jealous of. He wrote a book „The Ring“ which was translated to Lithuanian in 2005. This book shocked and amazed whole wide world with its originality, intensity and wild imagination. „The Ring“ inspired cultural horror phenomenon: three very popular sequels („Spiral“, “Loop”,  “Birthday”), five movies in Japan (“Ringu”, Ringu 2”, “Ringu 0: Bâsudei”, “Sadako”, “Sadako 2”) two – in the USA (“The Ring”, “The Ring 2”) . Also, many TV shows, comic books and computer games were created because of this very special cycle.

The book tells a story about a mysterious, unnamed video tape that somehow appeared in four teenager’s hands. Curiosity immediately took its course and four of them saw a little bit creepy video with no actual content – just a bunch of frames. After seven days all four of died of an unknown cause. All death certificates wrote that they died of a heart attack. Young journalist with his friend which was a professor in university heard about this unexplainable event and decided to investigate it. The worst part is, both of them also watched the tape. The question appears:  Will their destiny be as unfortunate as those, who died? Suddenly time becomes very valuable. More

The Key

Authors: Tanizaki, Jun'ichiro
Translated by: Dyke, Milda
Translated from: English
Published on: 2005

The Key is a novel about relationship between 44 years old wife Ikuko and 55 years old husband. They both write their own diaries and the whole novel is told through their diary entries. The main reason why they write diaries is that Japanese decorum would not have allowed them to talk about their sexual problems in person.

The novel begins with the husband’s description of his wife‘s beauty and her insatiable sexual appetite. In his diary he writes about his own sexual fetishes such as foot fetish and other body parts that sexually excite him. Despite Ikuko‘s sexual appetite she refuses those advances due to her strict traditional Kyoto “Feminine modesty“. But the main problem is that Ikuko admits that although she loves her husband, she has never found him sexually attractive. The reader is soon introduced to other book characters: daughter Toshiko of Ikuko and her husband and Kimura, the man who wants to marry Toshiko. The twist in the story, however, is that Ikuko feels sexually attracted to Kimura. More

Dark Water

Authors: Suzuki, Koji
Translated by: Ruzgys, Linas
Translated from: English
Published on: 2005

Koji Suzuki is known for being the author of critically acclaimed „The Ring“ and is also being titled as Japanese Stephen King. In this book he tells seven different stories that share one theme- water. These are short tales about everyday people that create a creepy atmosphere. Koji Suzuki is gifted with special talent to make simple objects and situations we encounter in daily life seem spooky.

In prologue we are being introduced to two of book’s bridging characters- a grandmother and her granddaughter, who loves spooky stories. Grandmother wants to give her granddaughter a very precious gift that she found on the shore but for it to make a bigger impact she decides to make up and tell her seven different stories where water is a recurring theme. In epilogue, we find out what that gift was. More

The Black book

Authors: Pamuk, Orhan
Translated by: Miškinienė, Galina
Translated from: Turkish
Published on: 2005

“The Black book” is a Turkish piece of literature written in the 20th century. The book includes various themes such as mystery, the inside world of human being, elements of investigation as well as Turkish traditions. The author Orhan Pamuk creates personal conversations with the readers, which involve them into complicated and thought provoking story.

The novel tells a story about one family and the main character of Galip – a lawyer who lives in the middle of Istanbul. The everyday life of Galip has changed permanently when one day he finds a goodbye note from his wife Rüya. The love story between the main character and Rüya started More

Žmogaus Avies Kalėdos: iliustruota knyga vaikams (The Sheep Man’s Christmas: illustrated book for kids)

Authors: Murakami, Haruki
Translated by: Devėnaitė, Violeta

“The Sheep Man’s Christmas” is a story about Sheep Man’s adventures in a mysterious land, where he goes to seek the way to cancel a curse. He then meets magical characters and together with them goes through different adventures, finally celebrating Christmas.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Authors: Murakami, Haruki
Translated by: Nauronaitė, Jūratė
Translated from: English
Published on: 2004

Two worlds. What is real and what is not? What is the reality and what is just a fruit of our subconsciousness? Novel “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” takes reader to two different worlds. The first one is Tokyo in the near future, where the information is the most important measure. The measure, that determines the future. Therefore, two companies are fighting for it. One of the companies is quasi-governmental, called the System. Calcutecs, that are working for it, are trying to save and encode the information. While the semiotecs from the other company, the Factory, are trying to steal it. The second world is a city, surrounded by the high wall. This wall is so high and perfect that only free as the wind birds can overcome it. People and even food are different in this city. All of them are missing something, something very important and unique. They are missing their shadows and the most important thing – mind, traces of which are protected by the unicorns. However, what is the wall itself protecting? More

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU