Still Lives

One of his first works to be translated into English, “Still Life” part of a collection of four stories published by Kodansha International under the title “Still Lives”, was awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1987.

Hawaii kiko

Hawai’i is still one of the favored destinations of Japanese tourists. To most Japanese, Hawai’i embodies the cliché of the eternal summer resort where they can communicate in Japanese. In this book, however, the author searches for the real Hawai’i behind the tourist façade: the natural landscape of the islands and the culture of the Hawai’ian people.


It is the summer of 1968, and four spies are working to smuggle military secrets out of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and disrupt the US bombing of North Vietnam. Chōei lost his parents and older brother in the World War II of Saipan; he now runs a parts shop in Okinawa. Frieda-Jane, a sergeant major, was born to an American father and a Philipine mother. Taka, a drummer in a rock band, was abandoned by his father for a life on the mainland and lost his mother to suicide. And the Vietnamese-born Annan is Chōei’s childhood friend from Saipan.