The widow, the priest and the octopus hunter

by Amy Chavez | 29 June 2022
Hardback
Categories: Travel
Get to know the inhabitants of a tiny Japanese island-and their unusual stories and secrets-through this fascinating, intimate collection of portraits. When American journalist Amy Chavez moved to the tiny island of Shiraishi (population 430), she rented a house from an elderly woman named Eiko, who left many of her most cherished possessions in the house-including a portrait of Emperor Hirohito and a family altar bearing the spirit tablet of her late husband. Why did she abandon these things? And why did her tombstone later bear the name of a daughter no one knew? These are just some of the mysteries Amy pursues as she explores the lives of Shiraishi's aging residents. The 35 revealing accounts in this book include: The story of 40-year-old fisherman Hiro, one of two octopus hunters left on the island, whose brother died tragically in a boating accident A friendly Buddhist priest, now in his eighties, who reflects on his childhood during the war years, witnessing fighter pilots readying themselves to die, and the ever-present, gnawing hunger he felt A "pufferfish widow," so named because her husband died after accidentally eating a poisonous pufferfish. Now 95, she once battled a widely-held belief that because her son was born in an inauspicious year, he should not be allowed to live A tombstone mason's wife, 85, recalls what it was like to arrive on Shiraishi for the first time to marry a man she had never met before. Interspersed with Amy's reflections on her own life on the island, these stories paint an evocative picture of Japanese society across nearly a century. Fascinating insights into local superstitions and folklore, memories of the war and the bombing of nearby Hiroshima, and of Shiraishi's heyday as a resort in the 1960s and 70s are interspersed with accounts of common modern-day problems like the collapse of the local economy and a rapidly-aging community which has fewer residents each year.
€20.99
62 Reward Points
In stock online
Delivery in 2-3 working days
Eligible for free delivery

Any purchases for more than €10 are eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK or Ireland!

Get to know the inhabitants of a tiny Japanese island-and their unusual stories and secrets-through this fascinating, intimate collection of portraits. When American journalist Amy Chavez moved to the tiny island of Shiraishi (population 430), she rented a house from an elderly woman named Eiko, who left many of her most cherished possessions in the house-including a portrait of Emperor Hirohito and a family altar bearing the spirit tablet of her late husband. Why did she abandon these things? And why did her tombstone later bear the name of a daughter no one knew? These are just some of the mysteries Amy pursues as she explores the lives of Shiraishi's aging residents. The 35 revealing accounts in this book include: The story of 40-year-old fisherman Hiro, one of two octopus hunters left on the island, whose brother died tragically in a boating accident A friendly Buddhist priest, now in his eighties, who reflects on his childhood during the war years, witnessing fighter pilots readying themselves to die, and the ever-present, gnawing hunger he felt A "pufferfish widow," so named because her husband died after accidentally eating a poisonous pufferfish. Now 95, she once battled a widely-held belief that because her son was born in an inauspicious year, he should not be allowed to live A tombstone mason's wife, 85, recalls what it was like to arrive on Shiraishi for the first time to marry a man she had never met before. Interspersed with Amy's reflections on her own life on the island, these stories paint an evocative picture of Japanese society across nearly a century. Fascinating insights into local superstitions and folklore, memories of the war and the bombing of nearby Hiroshima, and of Shiraishi's heyday as a resort in the 1960s and 70s are interspersed with accounts of common modern-day problems like the collapse of the local economy and a rapidly-aging community which has fewer residents each year.
Quantity:
In stock online
Delivery in 2-3 working days
Eligible for free delivery
62 Reward Points

Any purchases for more than €10 are eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK or Ireland!

€20.99
In stock online
Delivery in 2-3 working days
Eligible for free delivery
Quantity:
62 Reward Points

Any purchases for more than €10 are eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK or Ireland!

Categories: Travel

Product Description

Product Details