Yoko Ogawa on Literature as a Means of Remembering

August 17, 2020

At The New York Times, author Yoko Ogawa reflects on the literature published following the atomic bombings in Japan during World War II, including Masuji Ibuse’s Black Rain, Kenzaburo Oe’s Hiroshima Notes, and Tamiki Hara’s Summer Flowers. “We appeal to the power of literature, a refuge we turn to when forced to confront contradictions that lie beyond reason or theory,” she writes. “Through the language of literature, we can finally come to empathize with the suffering of nameless and unknown others. Or, at very least, we can force ourselves to stare without flinching at the stupidity of those who have committed unforgivable errors and ask ourselves whether the shadow of this same folly lurks within us as well.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

Add Your Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.