Heaven’s Wind is an anthology of writings by five fabulous Japanese women writers and with their texts we get a glimpse of several decades of Japanese fiction.
First story “Ball” by Natsuko Kuroda tells us about a young girl willing to do anything to get a new ball to play with. Kuroda started writing in the 1960s, but her body of work has been fully admired only recently. In 2013 at the age of 75, she has been awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Award.
Our team’s favourite is by far the one written by Mitsuyo Kakuta, about a countryside women dealing with the trauma after losing her child. It’s a magnificent mixture of local beliefs, social pressure and a pinch of magical realism. “The Child Over There” was included in Kakuta’s short story collection awarded with Izumi Kyoka Award in 2012.
Kuniko Mukoda’s “The Otter” is thrillingly disturbing (an Naoki Award recipient as well), and so is “Planting” by Aoko Matsuda. It could also be considered one of the more daring stories written recently – you can check how wonderful it is in English and Japanese.
For all who learn Japanese, translator Angus Turvills essay will be the icing on the cake. You can check examples of language difficulties he faced when translating the stories and real solutions how to deal with them.