Naomi

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2001 - Fiction - 237 pages
25 Reviews
Na-o-mi. The three syllables of this name, unusual in 1920s Japan, captivate a 28-year-old engineer, who soon becomes infatuated with the girl so named, a teenaged café waitress. Drawn to her Eurasian features and innocent demeanor, Joji is eager to whisk young Naomi away from the seamy underbelly of post—World War I Tokyo and to mold her into his ideal wife. But when the two come together to indulge their shared passion for Western culture, Joji discovers that Naomi is far from being the naïve girl of his fantasies, and his passion descends into a comically helpless masochism.

A literary masterpiece that helped to establish Junichiro Tanizaki as Japan's greatest novelist, Naomi is both a hilarious story of one man's obsession and torment, and a brilliant evocation of a nation's cultural confusion.

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Review: Naomi

User Review  - Dru Pagliassotti - Goodreads

This Japanese novel predates Nabokov's Lolita by about 31 years but covers similar territory, although ultimately Joji is more tragic a figure than Humbert Humbert. In 1918 Tokyo, 28-year-old Joji ... Read full review

Review: Naomi

User Review  - Anna - Goodreads

In this story twenty-eight year old man named Jouji becomes obsessed with a teenage girl because she looks Western. He takes her in and tries to shape her into his ideal wife. Of course, things to ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Junichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo in 1886 and lived in the city until the earthquake of 1923, when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region, the scene of one of his most well-known novels, "The Makioka Sisters" (1943-48). The author of over twenty books, including "Naomi" (1924), "Some Prefer Nettles" (1928), "Arrowroot" (1931), and "A Portrait of Shunkin" (1933), Tanizaki also published translations of the Japanese classic, "The Tale of Genji" in 1941, 1954, and 1965. Several of his novels, including "Quicksand" (1930), "The Key" (1956), and "Diary of a Mad Old Man" (1961) were made into movies. He was awarded Japan's Imperial Prize in Literature in 1949, and in 1965 he became the first Japanese writer to be elected as an honorary member of the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Tanizaki died in 1965.

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