, 2001 - Fiction
- 237 pages
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.