Claire Kohda

Spirit of place | 4 April 2019

The ghost of a penniless builder lingers in Ueno Park, reminiscing about his homeless life

In 1923, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 struck Tokyo and Yokohama. A huge area of Tokyo burned. But, Ueno Park, protected by the water of Shinobazu pond, survived unscathed, as did many of the people from around Tokyo who sought refuge there. Emperor Hirohito visited the park and its new homeless residents soon after, and presented it as a gift to the people of the city, renaming it UenoImperial Gift Park.

Ueno Park is central to this novel by Yu Miri, whose Family Cinema won the prestigious...

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