Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

A Soul soul searching in Tokyo

Tokyo’s bustling nature and socio-economic rules play out in this touching and poignant novella, filled with stark and powerful descriptions.

Kazu, the ghost of a homeless construction worker wanders the environs of Tokyo’s Ueno train station. His life story as a hard worker who spends his final years of life living in a Tokyo park is a sharp contrast to the life lived by another man born in the same year — the Japanese Emperor.

Morgan Gile’s translation of this title brings out the lyrical nature of descriptive language, capturing the paradox of the richness in Kazu’s dark moments, his hopelessness and the life in the energetic city.

This is a gratifying read for those who love the succinctness and precision of language, especially in Asian literature.

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Check out my Audiofile review of the audiobook, narrated by Johnny Heller.