The Waiting Years is a novel by Fumiko Enchi, set within the milieu of an upper class Japanese family in the last years of the 19th century. It was first published. Dec 5, A tale of unanswered prayers, Fumiko Enchi’s “The Waiting Years” is an elegy on the subservience that once haunted Japanese womanhood. TWITTER –> the-waiting-years-by-fumiko-enchihtml&amp.

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The Waiting Years by Funiko Enchi. It also evokes a more universal note: The book is like a short story yeard, as it collects different moments in the lives of the Shirakawa family and how they drift in and out of the main story line.

As far as I remember, the female characters in books written by Kawabata, Tanizaki, Soseki, Kobo Abe, or Mishima even, are all very distant and aloof, and we never really get into their heads.

The book’s narrative style is slightly strange. Because, at the end of it all a brighter world surely lay waiting, like the light when one finally emerges from a tunnel. It’s a very affecting book, and the feelings that Enchi creates in it stay with echi. The country’s modernity eventually brought the practice to an end.

She is highly perceptive and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, and she deals ably with the affairs of the yeara and estates even eaiting her literacy is limited. In a patriarchal society where divorce was non-existent, rebellion a blasphemous act and women the eternal submissive species, the happiness of a woman truly lay in the legitimacy of a voice that struggled to climb the rocky hill of individuality.

Now, though, historical perspective can better reveal, even to the most currently-liberal inhabitants yers Terra, the noxious colonialist mindset which pervades Fumiko’s work. The two concubines remain, however, and after years of marriage, Tomo and Yukitomo remain husband and wife in name only. And Tomo takes Suga with her a and swears to herself that she would always defend Suga and take care for her.

A fertile womb makes a woman worthy whereas a barren womb brings social worthlessness. Read archived reviews of Japanese classics at jtimes. Not a single strand of hair loosened from the rumiko coiffure, a fmuiko smile tripping from the corners of her mouth putting fhe Noh mask to shame, confident in her posture, her heart being swept by violent sea of excruciating conflicts; there she sat gazing into fumjko naivety of a girl-child untouched by the menstrual years.


Having an affair of her own was unheard of an considered illicit and crude, even if her own needs were unmet by her husband and her feelings hurt beyond repair. Yukitomo is a generous provider, a good listener and a sensitive lover, much more so than his sociopathic, abusive, indolent son, Michimasa.

It’s a slow, sly book that eschews drama, and demurely holds back its emotional payoff till the very last pages. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. There’s nothing polemical or hamfisted in her approach — there’s no “victim” narrative in the usual sense.

Published inthis Noma Literary Prize-winning novel is a halfway mark for Japanese feminism. Learn more about Amazon Prime. The fact that the girl is underage made a very uncomfortable read to my modern eyes, probably more than any other issues that appear throughout the book. Too much of the rest was lost in translation. These transitions offered many benefits to women, yet did not come without sort-term sacrifice and struggle. There was a problem filtering reviews right waitinv.

Change Can’t Come Fast Enough Within ‘The Waiting Years’ – PopMatters

Allusions to Genji and the device of imbedding classical elements within the modern story enrich her fiction. Tomo es una mujer japonesa casada con un alto funcionario del gobierno. Firava Suga prima metresa din Tokyoapoi Yumi cea baietoasa si chiar si propria nora, Miya, trec prin patul lui Shirakawa, spre disperarea si umilinta care nu fac decat s-o intareasca si mai mult pe Tomo.

Even today, a womb is the measurement of social decree.

Change Can’t Come Fast Enough Within ‘The Waiting Years’

It’s not just Tomo, the obedient and hard-done-by wife who inspires me with sorrow, but also Suga, and to a lesser extent virtually every female character fumjko the book, who has no other choice than to be married or sold off in the patriarchal society of Meiji and Taisho Japan.

The entire system is inherently flawed. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. The shock was enough to split his arrogant ego in two.

Tomo suffers on jealousy toward Suga, but feels pitty toward her, too. Still, one doesn’t need a reference dictionary nearby to appreciate the novel; all that it asks of the reader is openness, patience, and curiosity.

There are things translators and publishers can do to make books more accessible to foreign audiences, though, and that were not done here. Tomo selects fifteen year old Suga, who comes from a struggling family who can no longer afford to feed her. Sep 02, Hears. It isn’t entirely irredeemable, but The House that Jack Built’ s familiar gimmicks say much more about Lars von Trier as a brand than as a provocateur or artist.


Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. What if, it was Tomo who had the liberty to discard Yukitomo like worn-out slippers? Sometimes the story becomes so densely packed with characters you want an intergenerational family tree to help you keep track. Good wife Tomo is driven to an early grave by the agonies placed upon her, but that’s what a good wife does, so oh well; husband Yukitomo takes his superiority for granted and never thinks to question it, even as his lechery and cruelty grow out of societal bounds, and no one in his family challenges him because it simply isn’t done; son Michizane is an idiot, but though Tomo and Yukitomo agree on that, he’s still their heir, because he’s the eldest son and that’s just the way it is.

However, I highly recommend this book, especially for people interested in reading literature from other nations and cultures. After interviewing many young women and negotiating with their families, she finds the perfect young woman — 15 years old.

She seems to work much harder than her husband and he is disturbed by the awareness that she is the stronger of the two.

Product details Mass Market Paperback Publisher: I loved the writing in both, the stories on the other hand tend to depress me and stress me out, yet I can still appreciate the writer’s talent, in both occasions I kept reading naturally, even if the plots made it hard at times.

The Waiting Years

Dec 18, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it. Oct 18, Enhi marked it as to-read. Rich in the colorful environment and culture so different from my own.

The book is set in the early Meiji Era