March Was Made of Yarn


March 11th 2011. The Great Tōhoku Earhquake and tsunami wave, that attacked the eastern coast of Japan, leading to a catastrophe in Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. After seven years, these events fade out in our memories, turn to be no more than a Wikipedia article.

In Japan, March 2011 will always remain a clear line between “before” and “after”. March was Made of yarn is an anthology, created in 2012 thanks to Elmer Luke and David Karashima from Nippon Foundation. They collected texts (short stories, essays, comics), that were created just “after”, while the whole income from the books was given to charities working in North-East of Japan.

We can find stories by authors familiar to Polish readers: Yōko Tawada, Yōko Ogawa or Hiromi Kawakami; but also still not translated literary stars: Mieko Kawakami, Mitsuyo Kakuta, Kazushige Abe and Shinji Ishii. March was Made of Yarn couldn’t miss out on writers hailing from Tōhoku, for whom March 2011 is even more personal. These writers are represented by Kazumi Saeki and Hideo Furukawa, who penned Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure,  an essay book we couldn’t recommend enough on Tajfuny.

Reading March you cannot help but wonder about the frail notions of security, calmness and belonging. Mieko Kawakami shows it perfectly in her story “March Yarn” (from which the anthology borrows its name). Kawakami compares the fraility of early months of motherhood with a national-level tragedy, happening somewhere far away in the background. This is what her heroine says, awaiting the birth of her first child:

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