The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories


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The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper and Other Short Stories


ISBN: 9784805315514 Category:

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From the unique standpoint of an American woman who married into a Japanese family and has lived in Japan for more than thirty years, Rebecca Otowa weaves enchanting tales of her adopted home that portray the perspective of both the Japanese and the foreigner on the universal issues that face us all-love, work, marriage, death, and family conflict.

The collection includes:

A Year of Coffee and Cake A young American wife in the Tokyo suburbs suspects her next-door neighbor of murdering an elderly relative.

Rhododendron Valley An elderly man decides to commit suicide to deal with his terminal illness and to spare his family pain.

The Mad Kyoto Shoe Swapper A reclusive young Japanese man enjoys the strange hobby of stealing shoes from temples, but it gradually consumes him.

Genbei’s Curse A downtrodden woman loses her temper with her demanding, sick father-in-law. Years later, old and sick herself, she can now empathize with him.

Trial by Fire A true story passed down through the author’s family of a gruesome trial to settle a land dispute in 1619.

Love and Duty The Japanese custom of “duty chocolates” (chocolates gifted by women to men on Valentine’s Day) has repercussions for an American and a Japanese woman.

Uncle Trash Told in the form of newspaper articles, this is the story of an old man, his hoarding addiction, the annoyance it brings his family, and his eventual revenge.

Illustrated throughout with the author’s own black-and-white drawings, this captivating volume offers a unique and lovingly rendered insight into everyday life in modern Japan.

Additional information

Weight 312 g
Dimensions 130 × 203 mm

Rebecca Otowa

Author Bio

Rebecca Otowa was born in California, and studied Japanese Language and Culture at the University of Queensland in Australia. In 1978 she went to Japan, and never left. After graduating from Otani University in Kyoto, with an MA in Buddhism, she married the 19th-generation heir to a country estate nearby. In the years since, she has brought up two sons, taught university-level English, played music, acted on stage and kept a vegetable garden, but she eventually returned to her two great loves-writing and drawing. Besides two books At Home in Japan (2010) and My Awesome Japan Adventure (2013), she has been a translator and columnist and has organized two shows of her paintings.



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