Naomi

Front Cover
Vintage, 2001 - Fiction - 237 pages
8 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 cafe 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 naive 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cameling - LibraryThing

Joji Kawai, a young salaryman nicknamed the 'gentleman' by his colleagues becomes interested in Naomi, an exotic looking teenage hostess, and thinks to rescue her from a seedy life. He offers to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EpicTale - LibraryThing

"Naomi" reminded me that I don't enjoy stories in which all the characters are shmucks. Narrator Joji, a serious-seeming engineer salaryman in his early 30s, assumes personal responsibility for ... Read full review

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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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