Mariko/Mariquita this is certainly a book for fans of the stories created by Haruki Murakami. Although the narrator and main character of the book is a man, a cultural anthropologist from a Japanese university, the main subject is a woman – Mariko. While visiting the island of Guam, the main character also “experiences” Mariko as if she were just a special kind of tourist attraction. The construction of Mariko as a character is unreal, unless we look at her from the point of view of male fantasy. Mariko is submissive when she needs to be, but shows “character” often enough to keep it interesting; she has no expectations or plans, she doesn’t think too much of herself and doesn’t ask for anything.
However, despite the suspicious treatment of the female character, Mariko/Mariquita is worth reading. First of all, Mariko herself, asl well as the entire island of Guam, symbolizes the freedom and carefreeness that the protagonist – a typical Japanese man – is desperately looking for. The fact that after meeting Mariko the man decides not to stay on the island or change anything about his life is also an important social commentary. Natsuki Ikezawa shows how difficult it is to deviate from the beaten path. Whether Ikezawa is right in his assessment of Japanese society is, of course, an open question.
Keshiki series is a collection of mini books featuring short stories and novellas. Keshiki (景色) means landscape or place, space. In the case of this series, you can think of the word keshiki as a landscape of different, unusual experiences or a space to discover a new relationship with the world. The series presents the texts of some of the most interesting Japanese writers. Its counterpart presenting writers from South Korea is Yeoyu series.