Japan ♥ · Random ♥ · Reading ♥ · Reviews ♥

I am a Time Being, and you are too.

Life has been awful. I think that I will explain this in a much later blog post when times are not so difficult; but for the time being, let’s talk about how you and I are ‘Time Beings’.

I just finished the novel ‘A Tale For The Time Being’, written by Ruth Ozeki and published in 2013. This book has been a great source of comfort to me in the past few weeks; it has had me absorbed in its beautiful story, made me ache to pick it back up and continue. It is narrated by two characters, a sixteen-year-old girl named Naoko Yasutani who is writing her diary in a Japanese maid cafe, and Ruth who is a writer and finds the diary of Naoko, along with other possessions, washed up on her island’s shore with the possibility of it being debris from the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. At first, I was completely absorbed by Nao’s story and was annoyed by Ruth’s interuptions between chapters, but as time went on, I was also intrigued by how Ruth was suceeding in finding information regarding the protagonists of the girl’s diary. She gets obsessed with it, and so do you; every time it returns to Ruth, it is a break in the diary that you have to take because Ruth is taking it. You are expected to feel and understand similar emotions to Ruth as she reads the diary herself (although tbh most of us would’ve just read the whole thing in one go lol); she is eager to read on and so are you. I don’t want to spoil this book because it is haunting and heart-breakingly beautiful, so I won’t give details but I will urge you to read this book, especially if you are interested in Far Eastern cultures. I really enjoy books that are based on Japanese, Korean or Chinese cultures.

Naoko seems like an average sixteen-year-old Japanese school girl; I always hear of school being a rather tough time for Japanese students, and Naoko is no exception. She struggles with being the ‘transfer student’ (she was born to Japanese parents but grew up in Sunnyvale, California before moving back to Japan) and gets bullied; I myself can relate because I was bullied too (though no where near to the same extent). In fact, I often thought of her as being a young Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and I learnt a lot from learning about her past as to what life can be like for a young Japanese student.

Despite seeming fairly normal, Nao has a very bright and intelligent personality; her outlook on life is far more mature than most people her age, especially when she talks about her old Jiko, who is the reason behind her writing the diary. Just reading the novel has got me wishing I was much more understanding and accepting of the world; so many of us are focused on our life, and our life alone. It got me thinking that there is so much more to life than just your life; life is everywhere, in every time. Every day, like I am now, there is a stress that we focus our entire entity on; sometimes we focus so much on the bad stuff, that the good stuff just glides by and we hardly notice it. You rarely see the good stuff on the news, I mean the really good stuff not ‘the princess just had her baby’; I mean the miracles and the true life stories. Most of the time, it’s just the terrible stuff you hear about and remember.

I feel like I’m rambling, but the book just made me think you know? I feel like I want to hike up a mountain to a Buddhist temple and sit Zazen right now, but tbh I would do anything to clear my mind. I would love to get into the habit of hating nothing and no-one, seeing every Time Being as being the same. How awesome would it be to have that super power? Or should I say, SUPA-PAWA!

Anyway, you guys should totally read this book! I’m sad that it’s over but I think I might buy another one of her books! I’m going to miss Naoko, and even Ruth. Unfortunately the book ended in a way that had me wishing it was more conclusive!! Haruki Murakami’s novels make me feel that way too!! Omg, I’m so tired; I’ve been feeling pretty crappy lately but thought this book was worth a blog. Abrupt end with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!
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