Asian studies in Lithuania
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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

Authors: Shafak, Elif
Translated by: Razmaitė, Rūta
Translated from: English
Published on: 2020

Elif Shafak’s novel “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World” tells the story of the protagonist’s life as she is dying. The idea of ​​the book is very interesting in that each memory (chapter) is associated with a certain taste or smell. This allows the reader to think and try to guess what this smell / taste might remind Leila.

Tequila Leila is lying in a garbage container with slowly disappearing signs of life. However, she did not know that death is so slow and can take as long as 10 minutes and 38 seconds. During this seemingly short period of time, Leila once again experiences the most memorable moments of her life, which gradually reveal her complicated past. She remembers her family life which was full of lies, her sexual exploitation, her escape to Istanbul and her living in a hostel. But among the dark memories, she emphasizes the lucky ones – about her best friends. More

The Buried Giant

Authors: Ishiguro, Kazuo
Translated by: Žukaitė, Mėta
Translated from: English
Published on: 2020

“The Buried Giant” tells a story of an old couple, which lives in ancient Britain, and journey to meet with their son, who has not been seen for many years. The story full of mysticism depicts the old world, which is full of inexplicable phenomena, surrounded by various monsters, and people mysteriously losing their memories. But in the story, the heart is warmed up by the spouses’ sincere communication and concern for each other.

Axl and Beatrice are an elderly couple quietly spending their days on the outskirts of a cave settlement. Unfortunately, the couple is slowly beginning to realize that they hardly remember their past. A few fragments of memories More

The Secret of Centennial Japanese: How to Live Long and Happily

Authors: Takahashi, Junko
Translated by: Bogušytė, Marija
Translated from: Spanish
Published on: 2020

Junko Takahashi in her book tells the story of Japanese longevity mysteries and discoveries learned from centuries-old Japanese and interviews with them. The book is interesting in that it perfectly reveals the norms of Japanese behavior, a culture that is very different from Europeans. One of them is Japanese isolation in terms of their own feelings, which was one of the barriers at the time of writing this book.

This book is an easy read for those who want to learn more about interesting Japanese culture or try to change their bad habits and maybe even prolong their lives. The author’s insights into telling about elderly are More

The Sympathizer

Authors: Nguyen, Viet Thanh
Translated by: Rosenaitė, Ina
Translated from: English
Published on: 2020

A “Sympathizer” is a semi-French, semi-Vietnamese anonymous narrator whose story becomes confession.

The story begins with the collapse of Saigon, during which the protagonist holds the position of assistant to a high-ranking special unit, the central anti-communist intelligence organization of the South Vietnamese Army. Yet, it is soon revealed to readers that the protagonist is not as he presents himself, in fact, he is a communist spy tasked with monitoring and reporting on all the activities of the Special Division in America. When the main character is transferred to the United States under the guise of an assistant in the Department of Oriental Studies, he does not end the mission entrusted to him and with a secret letters informs the Communists about the counter-revolutionary plans being developed for Vietnam. Although the Vietnam War is coming to an end, Vietnam’s struggle against communism is still gaining momentum. More

Crazy rich Asians

Authors: Kwan, Kevin
Translated by: Karsbo, Ligita
Translated from: English
Published on: 2020

Nicholas Young works as a lecturer at New York University, lives a quiet life and at first glance looks like a simple, intellectual New Yorker. This is how about him thinks and his colleague Rachel Chu, who spends time with him romantically. Still, the passive life that Nicholas developed in New York is not similar to the one he left in Singapore.

Reichell, who was invited to go to Nicholas best friend’s wedding, hoped to see a modest home and was most worried about how to behave, in case, not to offend her lover’s family by lack of her cultural knowledge. At that time, on the other end of the world, the news that Nicholas Young was returning home and taking a girlfriend together had been the hottest gossip for some time. More

Killing Commendatore II

Authors: Murakami, Haruki
Translated by: Enciutė, Gabija
Translated from: Japanese
Published on: 2020

Surviving a divorce with his wife, 36-year-old, unnamed the painter decides to escape to a secluded mountain lodge, where surrounded by beautiful nature, the artist has the time and space to rethink the most important events of his life and rediscover the path to creation. Still, life at the home of the famous nihonga artist Tomohik Amadai gives many riddles and engages the protagonist in a tricky puzzle in which he seeks an answer to both: the master of the house and discovered his work he had not made public.

In the novel ” Killing Commendatore”, Hakuri Murakami continues the journey of human transformation, that he must go through in order for a work of art to be born. As individual characters in the work, ideas and metaphors emerge that accompany the artist on a difficult quest. More

Japanese destroyer captain. Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway – The great naval battles as seen through Japanese eyes

Authors: Murakami, Haruki, Tameichi, Hara, Saito, Fred, Pineau, Roger
Translated by: Tamulevičius, Mantas
Translated from: English
Published on: 2020

This book is an autobiographical historical book that will also introduce the reader to the great naval battles on the Japanese side of Pearl Harbor, Guadalquani, Midway. In this book, the protagonist Tameichi Hara, who served in the Japanese Imperial Navy, talks about his life, family, time spent at sea, the situation in Japan during the war, battles in which he participated and did not participate, and we can see that this colourful person is critical and tells military operations, technical things not as a man who villing to cry about his experience, but as a specialist who conveys the unreturned version of the truth of events, evaluates and respects the enemy and does not blindly believe in the righteousness of his leaders, as well as acknowledging his own mistakes, analysing and do not repeating them. More


Authors: Lee, Min Jin
Translated by: Gailiūtė-Bernotienė, Gabrielė
Translated from: English
Published on: 2020

“Pachinko” – is a three-part novel about several generations of one family. The author, a famous South Korean novelist, tells an intriguing story about lives of Korean people during a difficult period – from Japanese occupation (in the year of 1910) until the end of 20th century.

The story starts in a fisherman-village Yeongdo near the Busan city. One of the main characters Yang Jin gives birth to a More

The Court Dancer

Authors: Kyung-sook, Shin
Translated by: Šiaučiūnas-Kačinskas, Martynas
Translated from: Korean
Published on: 2019

“The Court Dancer” is a piece full of new adventures, experiences, and pain. The book is based on an actual person called Yi Jin who was a talented court dancer. After reading a short story about this girl the author felt a connection to her and decided to write a novel. In this novel you can find a lot of Korean history and culture, knowledge of a young woman and her painful life after leaving Joseon. More

An Artist of The Floating World

Authors: Ishiguro, Kazuo
Translated by: Žukaitė, Mėta
Translated from: English
Published on: 2019

“An Artist of The Floating World” is a novel about an artist named Masuji Ono and the post-World War II Japan. It is the time of changes and when the narrator Masuji Ono meets people with different mindsets and opinions than his. The book is written very delicately and mixes both the artist’s past, before World War II and the present world. Kazuo Ishiguro focuses on topics like differences of generations, memory and forgiveness. More

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU