Asian studies in Lithuania
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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

Pachinko

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

Killing Commendatore

Authors: Murakami, Haruki
Translated by: Enciūtė, Gabija
Translated from: Japanese
Published on: 2019

“Killing Commendatore” is another master-piece of Haruki Murakami which takes us to yet another surrealistic world and fantastically written characters. This time it is a novel about a thirty-six year old painter who after a sudden divorce with his wife decides to run away from his past and current job as a portrait painter. He moves to the house that belongs to his friend’s father, who happens to be a very famous Japanese Nihonga artist. We learn about the narrator’s daily life and constant struggles as an artist. 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

Please Look after Mom

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

“Please Look after Mom”- it is a novel that has won many awards and created a name for Shin Kyung-sook not only in her home country but also in the world. This novel portrays deep motherly love, however, it also conveys the message of how much do we actually know about our loved ones. The plot starts slow and creates this mysterious atmosphere as well as makes you feel thrilled about family secrets. 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

The Divine Wind. Japanese kamikaze during World War II

Authors: Inoguchi, Rikihei, Nakajima, Tadashi, Pineau, Roger
Translated by: Venckevičius, Norbertas
Translated from: English
Published on: 2019

During World War II, Rikihei Inoguchi, Tadashi Nakajima and Roger Pineau fought on different sides of the barricades. However, after its end they were brought together by a special kamikaze, or otherwise, shimpu squad, formed by the Japanese army in 1944. The unprecedented tactics of modern warfare have caused both the world’s admiration for determined and dedicated pilots, and sadness for the many lives lost. In the book ’’The Divine Wind. Japanese kamikaze during World War II’’, commented on by American historian R. Pineau, and written by captains R. Inoguchi and T. Nakajima, who contributed to the formation of the kamikaze squad, share their memories. More

Convenience Store Woman

Authors: Murata, Sayaka
Translated by: Čepulionytė-Žukauskienė, Gabija
Translated from: Japanese
Published on: 2019

“Convenience Store Woman” is a book about 36-year-old Japanese Keiko Furukura, who for 18 years has been a loyal employee of a food and essentials store called “Kombini”. However, she and the “kombini “ share a much deeper connection, Keiko feels like she is a part of the store or even its lover. In this place she feels a sense of fulfillment and meaningfulness that she has never experienced before. This unusual relationship and dedication to the store is incomprehensible to her family and friends, as it is not a “normal” way of life. Even though Keiko feels the pressure from her relatives to start a “normal life”, which is to find a full-time job, marry and have children and so become a proper member of the society, she feels that her sole purpose is to be a perfect convenience store employee. While working, Furukura also meets Shiraha, who is employed in the same store. Shiraha has a similar fate as the heroine of the book – he is a social outcast and does not live his life properly, according to the rules set by society. More

A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea

Authors: Ishikawa, Masaji
Translated by: Jėčienė, Vaida
Translated from: English
Published on: 2019

“A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea” is a real and shocking story that tells the tragic story of an author who went to North Korea. The story is reminiscent of the terrible reality of North Korean people‘s lives, which is still hard to believe today. The book reflects the strict totalitarian regime in North Korea and the cult of “Great Leader’s Friend Kim Il Sung.”

Masaji Ishikawa was born between two worlds: a Korean father and a Japanese mother. The Ishikawa family spent several years in Japan, where they experienced horrific violence by their alcoholic father. However, when North Korea launched a repatriation campaign in 1958, the family went to “paradise on earth.” Hoping to start life anew as a happy, More

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Authors: Mishima, Yukio
Translated by: Kugevičiūtė, Dagija
Translated from: Japanese
Published on: 2019

Yukio Mishima’s novel “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion” tells the story of the changing mind and life of a Zen Buddhist monk. The life of a monk is full of philosophical insights and inner monologues that show the cruel tragedy of existency and man. The story is based on real facts, and the main focus of the book, as the name suggests, is the Kyoto Golden Pavilion set on fire in the 1950s. The book contains a number of Buddhist terminology and real historical events that will broaden the reader’s horizons. More

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU
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