Books / Reviews

Rivers

by Mike Sunda

Special To The Japan Times

Rivers, by Teru Miyamoto, Translated by Roger K. Thomas and Ralph McCarthy.
Kudodahan Press, Fiction.

Although relatively renowned and celebrated domestically, Teru Miyamoto hasn’t received much attention abroad as English translations of the novelist’s works are still sparse. This latest publication goes some way toward remedying the situation with its compilation of Miyamoto’s “Rivers” triptych, originally published between 1977 and 1978. The three episodes channel Japan’s rich history of Proletarian literature, with their nuanced, sympathetic depictions of working-class life — echoing Miyamoto’s own upbringing. The first of the stories, the Akutagawa Prize-winning “Muddy River,” details the relationship between two neighboring children in a poverty-stricken corner of postwar Osaka.