If you’ve ever thought about how amazing it would be to pack everything and move to the Bieszczady or other mountains, this book is definitely for you. But our hero, Yuki, is faced with a fait accompli: his parents enrolled him in a special training program in mountains and forests of Kamusari. He has to leave Tokyo overnight and finds himself in the middle of a forest.
It will be a long time before Yuki starts showing any predispositions to be a lumberjack – luckily, he comes under the watchful eye of Yoki and his lovely family. In the countryside and in the forest, time passes slowly, everyone knows everyone, and the world becomes very small… Modern city-style entertainment is replaced by traditional customs and the vastness of the forest.
The Easy Life in Kamusari is a great example of shigoto shōsetsu – a well-liked “genre” in Japan, in which we take a close look at representatives of some more or less common profession. Shion Miura often dabs into this type of literature – for example The Great Passage, in which we accompany the editors who are creating a great dictionary. The Easy Life, however, is above all easy – a fairly short, light-hearted read that is closer to YA (yes, there are romantic themes!) than to more serious analysis of deforestation, an aging rural society, and the difficulties of living in such a closed community.
The book has been adapted to a film that movie fans may know by clever title Wood Job! And Yuki’s future advetures can be found in the second part: Kamusari Tales Told at Night.