Kazuo's World, Tokyo, 1965
An appealing depiction of young boys in mid-1960s Tokyo, a time of postwar recovery and lingering social and cultural trauma.
Kazuo Nakamoto's life in inner-city Tokyo is one of tea and tofu, of American TV and rock 'n' roll. Kazuo is nine. It is the mid-1960s, just after the Japan Olympics, and Kazuo dreams of being a track star. He hangs out with his buddies, goes to school, and helps with household chores. But Kazuo's world is changing. This bittersweet novel is a deft portrait of a year in a boy's life in a land and time far away, filled with universal concerns about fitting in, escaping the past (in this case World War II's lingering devastation), and growing up.
J-Boys author Shogo Oketani is a writer and novelist who grew up in Tokyo in the mid-1960s.