Granta 127: Japan

Granta 127: Japan - Yuka Igarashi

This was my first experience with Granta and it was such an overwhelming and interesting one. What I liked most about the anthology is perhaps what some reviewers complained was a downside – I liked how close and far the stories, and artwork/photography, were to the theme of Japan. But there was something immersive in each one, as they all created the very same twenty new Japans that I was promised from the back cover. Some stories, such as “Breakfast” and “Things Remembered and Things Forgotten”, I didn’t like as much and had more difficulty getting into, as well wondering how exactly they wanted to present Japan or ‘Japan-ness’ to me. Other stories meanwhile, such as “Pig Skin” and “Printable”, were absolutely fascinating, leaving me with a strong impression and a lot of thoughts after I finished with them. I also loved the art features, namely the “Primal Mountain” series of photographs which from a distance looked so realistic that when I initially saw the cover on Goodreads I thought it was an actual mountain. A lovely collection that I enjoyed and will definitely enjoy rereading in the future. The foreignness and interesting strangeness of Japan really came through in this collection, and was a pleasure to read for someone like me who has always dreamed of visiting the country and experiencing it for myself.