A Geek in Japan | Books
Adventures of a geek living in Japan
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Book At A Setagaya Coffee Shop

The other day I was taking one of my aimless strolls around Setagaya, a residential area in Tokyo with many green areas. I like to get lost around the alleys of the neighbourhood in which Akira Kurosawa lived, and I always enjoy finding new places in town.

I went into a random coffee shop to rest a bit. Just right after entering, I noticed a Pulp Fiction poster and, not far from it, hidden in some shelves I found one of my books just behind a Gremlin.

“Why do you have this book here?” – I asked the waiter.

“Lately there are many foreigners around here” – he answered.

A geek in japan book in Setagaya

A geek in japan book in Setagaya

A geek in japan book in Setagaya

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Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

Jet Black and the Ninja Wind is one of the best novels where the action is based in Japan I’ve ever read. It is a young Adult novel about the last living female ninja and her quest to save her tribe and her own life.

Action, Japanese culture and history (learning a lot about Japanese indigenous people), great and deep characters, intrigue, mythology and ninja are all present in a plot that will keep you reading from the very beginning bring your imagination to travel to Japan through beautiful descriptions. After finishing reading the book I decided that I have to visit Osore-san (Sacred Mt. Osore in the novel), a remote mountain at the north of Honshu.

The protagonist, Jet Black, travels to Japan after her mother dies. Upon her arrival to Japan she travels to Kanabe, a remote village where she meets her grandfather for the first time. She soon commits to protect her family treasure…

Available on Amazon and Tuttle Publishing!

Jet Black

Also, the book has an official trailer. Yes, a novel with a trailer!


And also the trailer, behind the Scenes. Skydancing aerial artist, sword-slayer, dancer, yogini and kunoichi Angelica Kushi spins her ninja tricks in this behind-the-scenes reel from the making of the book trailer for “Jet Black and the Ninja Wind”

More about the author at LezaloWitz.com

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Loco in Yokohama – Baye McNeil's new book

Loco in Yokohama is Baye McNeil’s newest book. Known by the foreigner community in Japan by his blog Loco in yokohama he writes books relating his experiences in Japan in first person. If I try to “explain” Japan in my book “A Geek in Japan”, Baye McNeil’s just talks with his heart and sometimes you will feel like he is talking to you while having a drink in a bar.

I’ll let Bay McNeil explain more about his book:

Spend any time on the trains in Japan during crowded rush hour conditions, with your eyes open, that is, and you’ll likely see a chikan (Japanese pervert) it’s such an epidemic here. I see these guys plying their filthy trade on a regular basis, sometimes as often as two or three times a week. As remarkable as this may sound, the most remarkable aspect of these incidents is the response to it by the other passengers, particularly the men. Generally, nothing.

Loco in Yokohama

Most of the train companies in the Tokyo/Yokohama area have addressed this problem in a number of ways, most of which are insufficient. Some companies have women-only cars, some have installed cameras, I’ve even heard that sometimes even the police go undercover and ride among the passengers on train lines notorious for these predators to weed them out. Nevertheless the problem persists and is widespread.

In my new book, I describe a couple of the perv episodes I’ve experienced, Below is a story excerpted from the book, Loco in Yokohama, called:

By the Time I Get to Yokohama:
This morning I was on the train checking my email when we pulled into the station. It was packed to the gills and about to get more so judging from the queues on the platform before the door I was facing. I turned around and braced for the surge. And it came.

As usual, the surge swirled around me as much as it could, avoiding making contact with me—like I was an enormous boulder in the path of a stampede—but soon all of the available space outside of the bubble around me was filled by the surge. That is, those who hadn’t decided to make their way to another equally crowded car began to brush against me. Eventually, one man turned completely around and, with his back and putting a little shoulder into it too, dislodged me from my position without apology or acknowledgement.

This was all par for the course. Sometimes, by the time I get to Yokohama, I’ve exercised patience that would make even Job think seriously about atheism.
A high school girl, caught up in this commuter pinball game, was shoved against me. She turned my way, clearly intending to apologize, saw it was a non-Japanese-style human, did a quasi-nod and curtsy combo, took a quick glance to her rear, and then turned back my way looking a little freaked out. She was dressed in the standard fare, a sailor-style uniform with the skirt hiked up pretty high on her thighs. She wore a surgical mask like many people do, probably to avoid spreading germs or catching the flu that was going around. Her eyes and body language were what made it clear that she was frazzled, though.

She was aggressively repositioning herself this way and that, and it took a moment for me to realize it had nothing to do with me—not this time anyway. People often, upon realizing that they’ve been shoved into my vicinity, make strenuous efforts to remove themselves. I discerned that this girl’s efforts were not to evade me, but rather to escape from someone else—the man behind her.

He was the runt of the litter, and not much taller than the schoolgirl. He was dressed in typical “salaryman” fashion with a briefcase in one hand and his cell phone in the other. His eyes were shifty, but his target was clear. There was no stealth to his game. He wanted her and was aggressively wading through the passengers in pursuit.

The girl slid in front of me and sort of peeked around me to see if he would follow, like I was a cornerstone of a building, or a bodyguard. She chose me, of all people. In a car full of her compatriots, she chose me. I wondered if any thought had gone into her decision. Had she had such an experience before, perhaps with this same guy, on this same train, and learned the hard way that Japanese men wouldn’t lift a finger to protect her? If so, that was actually pretty clever of her, I thought. It would be like a woman being stalked yelling “fire” instead of “help me!” And if she had intended to use the Japanese-free bubble around me to dissuade her assailant, that would also indicate some unorthodox outside-the-box thinking on her part, bordering on genius.

I was intrigued as much as disgusted now. I turned just as the pint-sized perv realized what she’d done. His eyes scaled me slowly until he reached my eyes, and froze when his eyes made contact with mine—like a deer caught in my headlights. Maybe something in my eyes indicated to him that I was oblivious to what he was up to, or he was simply lust-driven and wouldn’t be dissuaded, not even by the likes of me. Whatever went through his sick little mind, it told him to keep pushing forward and ignore me because he tried to slide in front of me and position himself between the girl and me.

I wasted no time closing the gap between us. If anyone were paying attention, it might have looked to them like I was the chikan.

Shorty didn’t like that. Maybe he thought I was trying to move in on his action or something. So, he tried some old slick shit and used the continuing surge of boarding passengers and the sharp edge of his briefcase to wedge himself in front of me. This behavior, however, was very noticeable to everyone in the vicinity. However, instead of focusing on him and his oddly aggressive endeavors to get closer to a high school girl, our fellow commuters kept their indirect and suspicious, fish-eyed focus on me— the conspicuous threat.

Foolishness like this always tempts me to throw up my hands and say “fuck it” and let whatever will be just be. And, taking advantage of my moment of indecision, he wedged his arm between his prey and me.

As the train left the station, I could feel his arm between us adjusting with the movements of the train, only with determination. He was re-positioning it, and in doing so, was angling his briefcase into my groin to make space. This motherfucker!

He was on my right side. I was holding a metal strap with my left hand. I switched to a strap on my right side and, as I did, I swung my right elbow low and caught him squarely in the forehead.

It didn’t so much hurt him as it surprised him.

“Gomen nasai,” I whispered and nod/bowed. He ignored my apology, probably sensing that my assault was done intentionally. A perceptive perv.
But his hand didn’t budge.

My elbow was now above his head. My switching hands had actually made his access to the girl easier. I had anticipated he’d back off after I’d shown him my intention to intervene. He hadn’t and, as a result, now had an almost unfettered and well-concealed entree to her.

The train swerved a bit and everyone was tossed to the left, myself included. He apparently had been anticipating the swerve and used it to slide closer to his potential victim. I realized he wasn’t going to use his hands, though. He’d wanted to get directly behind her for some reason. And now he was, as I had been shoved further to her left by the swerve.

I couldn’t see what was going on below, but I could tell by his face that something was up as he was trying much too hard to look nonchalant. The girl had ceased all struggling and jostling and had accepted her fate, whatever it was. She was looking at her cell phone, eyes locked on it. Some of the other passengers would occasionally glance over to check him out, but most kept re-confirming their proximity to me, feeding their curiosities, or relieving their suspicions as to what my motives might have been for being among them.

By the time we got to Yokohama station, I’d had just about as much as I could take of the misplaced suspicion around me. Will these people ever learn?
But, as the doors opened I saw a flash of movement and heard a ripping sound. It looked like the man suddenly snatched something from the girl. Her panties? I’d heard about pervs using scissors and box cutters to slash women’s skirts open, and even of women’s underwear being stolen off of clotheslines, but I’d never heard of pervs pilfering panties in person!

They tussled a bit to separate like their headphone wires had gotten tangled. Then, he tore away from her, making it appear like a classic NY-style purse snatching, but all the girl had was a school book bag and she was still holding that. He’d done something wrong, that was for sure!
As he tried to shove by me and make his exit, I stuck out my foot and tripped him. He lunged forward, but the crowded conditions kept him from falling. He did knock over several people in the process of making his escape, though. Passengers spilled out of the car onto the crowded platform. He stepped on a couple of the fallen people and stepped over a couple of others, but once his feet were on solid ground, he was Usain.

I thought to pursue, but I wasn’t about to climb over fallen people to do it. I watched as he shoved through the swarm of commuters for the escalator. But the girl, she was not as reticent as me. She apologized and pardoned her way through a few people, shoved her way through others, and took off after him. By the time I reached the escalator, the guy was nearly at his top running speed and the girl was hot on his heels. She must’ve run track.
By the time I reached the top of the escalator, I saw a few heads turned in the direction they had run, but the man and the girl were nowhere to be seen.

Though the measures being taken by the authorities here in Japan to address this issue may discourage some of these pervs, personally I think the only deterrent that is fool-proof is the public’s involvement. Currently, as I described in the story above, the public would sooner turn a blind eye on this plague than get involved and protect vulnerable members of their society from predators. If this attitude doesn’t change, if this tendency to not get involved with matters that don’t directly affect one’s well being doesn’t shift, then these sexual assaults will continue to mar the lives of women interminably

You can buy Loco in Yokohama through Amazon (Kindle or Paperback) Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers worldwide.

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Neuromancer – Japanese Vocabulary

During the 80s the United States started to see that unavoidably Japan would soon become the largest economy in the world. Japan was seen in the 60s and 70s as a country that was only able to produce cheap imitation gadgets but in the 80s Japan had turned into a country able to produce cutting edge technology of the highest quality. The neon lights and alleys of Japanese cities became the futuristic image of science fiction novels and films produced in the 80s and 90s.

Neuromancer

Neuromancer

Part of the action in the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson, published in 1984 (just 2 years after the release of Blade Runner), is set in a dystopian Japan where technology has taken over the control of society.

Neuromancer

Neuromancer is a quite dense read and has a lot of made up vocabulary, something that is usual in science fiction novels. For example, “cyberspace” was a word coined by William Gibson that he first introduced in his novel Burning Chrome and he also used in Neuromancer. It would eventually become a well-known word nowadays. Cyberspace is a word easy to understand but when I first read the novel before coming to Japan I found paragraphs like this, full of terms with a Japanese origin:

He stepped out of the way to let a dark-suited sarariman, by spotting the Mitsubishi-Genentech logo tattooed across the back of the man’s right hand … The sarariman had been Japanese, but the Ninsei crowd was a gaijin crowd.

When you are not familiar with these jargon it is easy to miss some nuances and details of the plot, mostly in the first chapters of the book. I have compiled some of the Japanese terms that appear in the novel:

Chiba City/Ninsei: Chiba is a prefecture and a city located to the east of Tokyo. It is mostly known as the site of Narita airport and a couple of Disney amusement parks. Case, the main character in Neoromancer, lives in Chiba city in the beginnning of the novel and usually hangs around “Night City”, an area between Chiba and Tokyo that is full of criminals and drug addicts. According to the imagination of Gibson, in the Chiba of the future you can find arcology, underground markets for body parts (like in Alita) and hospitals specialized in neurosurgery.

The Japanese had already forgotten more neurosurgery than the Chinese had ever known. The black clinics of Chiba were the cutting edge, whole bodies of technique supplanted monthly…

Chatsubo (茶壷): name of the bar that Case frequents. Chatsubo 茶壷 in Japanese is the name of a ceramic container used to store matcha tea leaves before grinding them.

Neuromancer

The Chatsubo was a bar for professional expatriates; you could drink there for a week and never hear two words in Japanese.

Zaibatsu: a group of large Japanese corporations usually controlled by the members of the same family. The term “zaibatsu” was mostly used before the Second World War. After the war most of the Japanese economy had to be rebuilt from scratch and “keiretsus” appeared. “Keiretsus” are similar to “zaibatsus” but are not centralized and controlled by a single family. William Gibson uses the term “zaibatsu” to express the large power of the monopolies that Japanese multinationals have in the future he imagines.

Kirin: a Japanese beer brand.

Neuromancer

Ratz was tending bar, his prosthetic arm jerking monotonously as he filled a tray of glasses with draft Kirin.

Fuji electric Company: a Japanese company founded in 1923 as a spin-off of the Furukawa zaibatsu.

Tokyo for the glare of the television sky, not even the towering hologram logo of the Fuji Electric Company, and the Tokyo Bay

Shinjuku: one of the main neighborhoods in Tokyo. It has a secondary role in Neuromancer.

Neuromancer

He punched a Tokyo number in Shinjuku. A woman answered, something in Japanese.

Ono-Sendai: in the novel it is a Japanese corporation that manufactures cyberdecks. In Japanese “Ono” means axe, and Sendai is the name of a prefecture in the northeast coast of Japan.

Pachinko パチンコ: a kind of Japanese arcade game.

Yakitori 焼き鳥: skewers.

Neuromancer

He bought yakitori on skewers and two tall waxy cartons of beer. Glancing up at the holograms,..

Sarariman サラリーマン: businessman or businesswoman employed by a corporation.

Neuromancer

The Finn, in a new Shinjuku suit, sarariman black, was waiting sourly

Mitsubishi-Genentech: William Gibson imagines a future in which the multinational Mitsubishi has taken over the American company Genentech.

Gaijin 外人: means “foreigner”. It literally means something like “person from outside”.

Yakuza ヤクザ: the largest Japanese crime organization. The Japanese mafia.

You’re Yak, aren’t you, Lupus? Gaijin soldierman for the Yakuza.

Bosozoku 暴走族: Japanese urban tribe associated with customized motorbikes.

Shuriken 手裏剣: sharp metal stars used by ninjas in Japan. Case, the main character in the novel, is fascinated by shuriken.

Case pulled the shirt over his head. He saw the shuriken on the bed, lifeless metal, his star.

Manriki o Kusari-fundo 鎖分銅: a metal chain used in feudal Japan as a combat weapon.

Street Samurai 侍: the samurai were the soldiers in medieval Japan. They usually worked for a daimyo (feudal lord). The samurai that were left without a daimyo became “ronin”. William Gibson uses the term “Street Samurai” to refer to mercenary criminals with improved/upgraded bodies.

Ninja 忍者: mercenaries in medieval Japan specialized in espionage, sabotage and murder.

Neuromancer

The ninja produced a credit chip and keyed Smith that amount out of a numbered Swiss account.

Hosaka: a Japanese last name. In the novel it is one of the most well-known computer manufacturers.

Your boss wiped the bank on that other Hosaka, and damn near took ours with it. But your pal Wintermute put me on to something.

JAL: Japan Air Lines, a Japanese airline. In the novel the main characters travel from Paris to Freeside in a shuttle operated by JAL.

Koto 琴: a Japanese string musical instrument.

Neuromancer

He listened to the piped koto music and waited.

Sanpaku 三白: it literally means three 三 whites 白. It is used to describe the eyes positioned in such a way that the iris does not touch the bottom eyelid, while the bottom of the white part of the eye (sclera) is visible.

Neuromancer

Sure. A millimeter of white showed beneath each of her pupils. Sanpaku. You watch your back, man.

Origami 折り紙: it literally means “to fold paper” (折り: fold, 紙: paper) in Japanese. Origami cranes are considered a symbol of peace associated with antinuclear campaigns in Japan. A coincidence with Blade Runner?

Neuromancer

Case stooped and picked it up. An origami crane.

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

Other science fiction books:

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South of the Border, West of the Sun

Not long ago I re-read the novel South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami and I realized that I still hadn’t written about this fabulous love story in this blog.

Sometimes Japanese literary critics criticize Haruki Murakami for being a Japanese author that “is barely Japanese” and for being too influenced by Western culture. If you could measure the “japanicity” of the novel, South of the Border, West of the Sun by Murakami would be his most “Japanese” novel, which deals with topics such as nostalgia “natsukashisa 懐かしさ” and the impermanence of time.

The two main characters, despite being adults, behave like teenagers by avoiding their responsibilities as members of society and, in the case of Hajime, by eluding his family.

These are some paragraphs that I took from the novel that caught my attention (no spoilers):

“But you don’t know how empty it feels not to be able to create anything.”
“I’m sure you’ve created more things than you realize.”
“What sort of things?”
“Things you can’t see,” I replied. I examined my hands, resting on my knees.
She held her glass and looked at me for a long while. “You mean like feelings?”
“Yes, ” I said. “Everything disappears some day. Like this bar – it won’t go for ever. People’s tastes change, and a minor fluctuation in the economy is all it would take for this to go under. I’ve seen it happen; it doesn’t take much. Things that have form will all disappear. But certain feelings stay with us for ever.

“Our world’s exactly the same. Rain falls and the flowers bloom. No rain, they wither up. Bugs are eaten by lizards, lizards are eaten by birds. But in the end every one of them dies. They die and dry up. One generation dies, and the next one takes over. That’s how it goes. Lots of different ways to live. And lots of different ways to die. But in the end that doesn’t make a bit of difference. All that remains is a desert.”

“I pay him a lot of money. Which is a secret as far as the other employees are concerned. The reason for the high salary is his talent for mixing great drinks. Most people don’t realize it, but good cocktails demand talent. Anyone can make passable drinks with little effort. Train them for a few months and they can make a standard-issue mixed drink – the kind most bars serve. But if you want to take it to the next level, you’ve got to have a special flair. Like playing the piano, painting, running the hundred-metre sprint. … It’s like art. There’s a line only certain people can cross. So once you find someone with talent, you’d best take good care of them and never let them go. Not to mention paying them well.”

“Everyone just keeps on disappearing. Some things just vanish, as if they were cut away. Others fade slowly into the mist. And all that remains is a desert.”

“The sad truth is that some things can’t go backwards. Once they start going forward, no matter what you do, they can’t go back to the way they were. If even one little things goes awry, then that’s how it will stay for ever”

“I don’t know… maybe thinking about ways to spend money is best, after all,” I said. I let go of her hand and felt that I was about to drift away somewhere. “When you’re always scheming about ways to make money; it’s like a part of you is lost.”

Murakami

Other posts about Haruki Murakami:

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Edogawa Rampo Coffee Shop

Last month we were walking around Sendagi and Nippori and we ended up in a coffee shop where the writer Edogawa Rampo used to go.

We went into the coffee shop and a woman served us a bad and expensive coffee. But I found that the decoration, which reminded me of the mysterious narrative of Edogawa Rampo, made it worth it.

Edogawa Rampo coffee shop

Edogawa Rampo coffee shop

Edogawa Rampo

Edogawa Rampo

Edogawa Rampo

Edogawa Rampo

Edogawa Rampo

Edogawa Rampo

If you have never read any work by Edogawa Rampo I recommend you this book that compiles some of his best mystery short stories. In addition, you can read online in this link “Murder on Dogenzaka”, one of my favorite Edogawa short stories along with “The Human Chair” (人間椅子), in which the story revolves around a man that decides to live inside the sofa of a hotel lobby…

Map that shows how to get to the coffee shope

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

I already have in my hands the new novel by Haruki Murakami, as of now only available in Japanese, with the title “色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年” that would translate as “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”. It seems like when Murakami started writing the story he was thinking about writing a short story but he ended up writing a full new novel.

Tsukuru Tazaki, the main character, is a 36 year old architect specialized in designing train stations. The novel starts with Tsukuru Tazaki reminiscing parts of his past life with nostalgia and sadness.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Murakami

Other Haruki Murakami posts:

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Jim Rogers in Tokyo

I had been reading about Jim Rogers for some years but up until now I hadn’t read any of his books. In “Invesment Biker, Around the World with Jim Rogers” he tells us about his ride around the world on a motorcycle with a hot blonde half his age at the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s.

I found the book fascinating, specially the first part of the book that explains the problems to move around godforsaken places in the former Soviet Union, crossing the border with China following the silk road of ancient times and ending up in Tokyo.

Jim Rogers

Apart from anecdotes and adventures, one of the most interesting parts of the book is that it lets you see the logic that Jim Rogers uses when analyzing the different economies that he is visiting and whether if he decides to invest in them or not. He pays a lot of attention to details of the life style of the people living in each place. For example, this is what he reflects on after seeing a golf clubs advertisement in a Tokyo newspaper at the beginning of the 90s:

“Back in January of 1990 I had predicted in Barron’s that the Japanese stock market would fall by at least 50 percent. A local financial journalist caught up with me in Japan and wanted to know what I thought about the market now that it was down from near 40,000 to 29,000 . Was it the bottom?
A day or so before I had noticed that the front page of a local newspaper printed an index of the average price of membership in Tokyo golf clubs. It had hit a million dollars. A million dollars to belong to a golf club! This sounded like a speculative bubble to me, a financial feeding frenzy without intrinsic valor.
When you see value as out of whack as this, stand back and ask yourself if something is wrong….. in real world, golf memberships can’t be worth a million dollars…”

Later he also analyzes the real estate market, being absolutly right when saying that in that moment Japan was suffering a huge real estate bubble. Houses and land prices in Japan have been declining since then.

“I said that the real state market had a lot further down to go, as it was clear nobody in the market was suffering any pain from this drop. In addition to sky-high prices for golf memberships, Japan’s real estate prices were still at cloudlike levels. The ground in which the Emperor’s palace stood was said to be worth more than the entire state of Florida!”

Very interesting read! Maybe I will read next his just released book Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets.

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A Geek in Japan available for Kindle

My book A Geek in Japan has been on sale for more than a year now and it has been a success thanks to you!

I’m very happy to announce that now it is also available for kindle as A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony – Ebook. Buying it you are getting the “Optimized version for larger screens” with color pictures that looks awesome on Kindle Fire or the iPad!

On the next picture you can see the paperback version next to the cover page on the Kindle for Ipad.

A Geek in Japan Kindle

And this is how it looks like in a “traditional” Kindle. The photos look pretty sharp and contrasted, I’m very happy with the result.

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

A Geek in Japan Kindle

Thanks for reading me once again and thanks even more if you buy A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony – Ebook right now! :)

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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – 時をかける少女

I recently finished reading the short novel The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女) by Yasutaka Tsutsui. It was published for the first time in 1967, but it’s now popular again thanks to a movie released in 2006 by the animation studio Madhouse based on the same story. Even though the story plot of the movie and the novel are quite different, the characters and the message of both are the same:

“Time waits for no one” – Written by someone in the lab of Kazuko’s high school

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Kazuko, the main character of the novel and the movie, is a high school student with a monotonous lifestyle in a Tokyo neighbourhood that has two good friends who with she plays baseball after class. Suddenly she acquires the power to travel through time. At the beginning she uses her power for innocent purposes like going back in time two or three days to enjoy her favourite meal again, but gradually she starts abusing her powers (she tries to change her destiny and her friend’s) and paradoxes start to happen which put her and her friend’s existence in danger.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time book front cover
Front cover of the novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui.

Finally Kazuko realizes that even if she is able to travel in time she is not able to change some events once they have happened, she learns that what happens happens and that what she decides can have important consequences in her life but also in the life of others, that there are certain things that are out of our control and that time waits for no one.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time DVD cover
Cover of the Japanese DVD.

Madhouse is possibly one of the best animation studios in Japan. The art of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time animation movie is impressive and very faithful to the real world, it makes you feel like you are wandering around Tokyo streets. As Studio Ghibli artists are inspired by places that are located near their offices; in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time many locations near the Madhouse offices in Ogikubo (Tokyo) can be appreciated. For example:

The
Photo of a laundry at the south exit of Ogikubo station, I used to live around there at the end of 2004!

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The critical moment of the movie occurs in this crossroads, in which Kazuko goes back in time several times to try to decide which way to go: the left way or the right way. A decision that the first time seemed trivial, but later she realized was a turning point in her life.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The crossroads in the movie is inspired by this crossroads near Waseda University in Tokyo. If you want to take the same photo this is the place in Google Maps.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Other location in the movie that Kazuko travels back to is this slope:

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Location in Google Maps

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

An English version of the novel was released two years ago: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and the animation movie was distributed in United States by Bandai Entertainment. More photos of the locations in the movie

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