July 27, 2017

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Yoru Mata Yoru No Fukai Yoru

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Yoru Mata Yoru No Fukai Yoru (or 夜また夜の深い夜 in Japanese) is a novel written by a female Japanese novelist, Kirino Natsuo. The book was published in October of last year. It tells the story of a girl who lives in a slum in Naples, Italy with her mother, who keeps having plastic surgery to alter her face. The girl does not have an ID, she does not know her real family name or her mother’s. She does not know who her father is. One day, she sets out to discover who she really is.

This is a work of fiction, but it reads much more like a book meant to impart life lessons. I learned a lot of insights reading this book. For example, the one’s mother plays an important role in the development of a child, and if one’s mother doesn’t provide a solid foundation for a child, it can be difficult for that child to feel like they know who they are. To me, the mother’s changing face represented the mother’s uncertain identity, which made it difficult for her daughter to figure out who she was.

Someone once told me that in the process of growing up, it is important to try to set aside the negative qualities acquired from one’s parents and retain the good ones. Another person told me that it is important to recognize yourself as a complete, and different person from your parents and establish your own identity. This story made me think a lot about these things.

There is no way for a child to survive without being dependent on their parents, and through this process, parents will teach a child a lot of values. This will inevitably include their biased views. However, they usually mean will from the perspective of the parents. It is crucial for someone to learn not to adopt these erroneous views and live as the person they really are. Moreover, children must strive to have a forgiving heart in dealing with parents who impose such biased views. This will help someone to move on with their life.

Although the leading character and her mother are Japanese, I think this story is relatable to non-Japanese people as it touches on universal issues such as the mother-child relationship and an adolescent’s self-discovery process. So, I hope the book will be translated into foreign languages, especially into Italian. It would be especially interesting to see how the story is received by Italians. I also would like to see this novel adapted into a movie. The story would unfold thrillingly in the beautiful city of Naples, and I think it would be stunning. Several novels by the author have been adapted into movies in Japan, so I think there is a strong possibility that this story will become a movie.

Yoru (夜) means night.

Mata (また) means again.

No (の) means of.

Fukai (深い) means deep.

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