The Easy Life in Kamusari
From Shion Miura, the award-winning author of The Great Passage, comes a rapturous novel where the contemporary and the traditional meet amid the splendor of Japan's mountain way of life.
Yuki Hirano is just out of high school when his parents enroll him, against his will, in a forestry training program in the remote mountain village of Kamusari. No phone, no internet, no shopping. Just a small, inviting community where the most common expression is "take it easy."
At first, Yuki is exhausted, fumbles with the tools, asks silly questions, and feels like an outcast. Kamusari is the last place a city boy from Yokohama wants to spend a year of his life. But as resistant as he might be, the scent of the cedars and the staggering beauty of the region have a pull.
Yuki learns to fell trees and plant saplings. He begins to embrace local festivals, he's mesmerized by legends of the mountain, and he might be falling in love. In learning to respect the forest on Mt. Kamusari for its majestic qualities and its inexplicable secrets, Yuki starts to appreciate Kamusari's harmony with nature and its ancient traditions.
In this warm and lively coming-of-age story, Miura transports us from the trappings of city life to the trials, mysteries, and delights of a mythical mountain forest.
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About the Author
Shion Miura made her fiction debut in 2000 with Kakuto suru mono ni maru (A Passing Grade for Those Who Fight). In 2006, she won the Naoki Prize for her story collection Mahoro ekimae Tada Benriken (The Handymen in Mahoro Town). Her other novels include Kaze ga tsuyoku fuiteiru (The Wind Blows Hard), Kogure-so monogatari (The Kogure Apartments), and Ano ie ni kurasu yonin no onna (The Four Women Living in That House). Her other works in English, all translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter, include The Easy Life in Kamusari (Kamusari naanaa nichijo), volume one in her Forest series, and The Great Passage (Fune o amu), which was made into an award-winning motion picture and received both the Booksellers' Award in Japan in 2012 and an Earphones Award. Miura has also published more than fifteen collections of essays and is a manga aficionado.