JETAABC Yomi-Kai

What is JETAABC Yomi-Kai?

JETAABC Yomi-Kai is a reading club created for JET Alumni, JETAA Friends and community members to gather to discuss and discover short stories by Japanese Authors in translation or by Japanese Canadian authors.

We always start by sharing first impressions and questions that we have and let that guide the evening. From exploring characters, plots, point of views, to the general theme of the work; these are just some of the angles we will talk about with each reading piece.

How to join?

We have a rolling registration system. Sign up here.

When you sign up you will get access to the readings, next meeting updates, and access links. Next month’s dates and readings will be decided by the attendees of the previous meeting.

For our next Yomi-Kai meeting

poster for grace eiko thomson

We have invited Author Grace Eiko Thomson to discuss her memoir, Chiru Sakura — Falling Cherry Blossoms: A Mother & Daughter’s Journey through Racism, Internment and Oppression. Join us as we learn more about the Canadian Japanese History through Grace Eiko Thomson’s powerful story of resilience in the face of racism, sexism, and internment.

We will meet on Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 2 pm PDT over Zoom. Check here for full details and registration link.

Previous Reads

April 2021: “The Special Place” or “Flower Abstraction” by Yumiko Kurahashi

Choose one or both of the following short stories from Yumiko Kurahashi’s Anthology “The woman with the flying head.” Yumiko wrote these stories based on the art pieces linked beside each short story:

March 2021: “The Pregnancy Diary” by Yoko Ogawa

The Akutagawa Prize winning short story by Yoko Ogawa accumulates details to subtly yet expressively comment on the human psychology in her writing. What kind of meaning into the details of this short story can you gain?

February 2021: “The Tattooer” by Tanizaki Junichiro

A classic short story by Tanizaki Junichiro’s debut work, “The Tattooer.” This is Tanizaki’s very first published short story and really sets the tone of his future writing styles and themes. Tanizaki is one of Japan’s famous modern writers. His writing often challenged aesthetics and sexuality in an era where Japan was being introduced to “western” ideas.

December 2020: “Faith” by Sayaka Murata

“One friend gathers their old college friends in an attempt to start a cult for economic gain.” 

November 2020: “A Clean Marriage” by Sayaka Murata

This short story explores a couple who entered an asexual marriage in exploring ways to have children.

October 2020: “The Lonesome Bodybuilder” by Yukiko Motoya

This book is a collection of eleven stories where individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien–and, through it, find a way to liberation. This collection of short stories would be a good contrast of discussion with this week’s reading. *rephrased from the Goodreads synopsis.

September 2020: “The Elephant Vanishes” by Haruki Murakami

Discussions will start with “Barn Burning” and then we will move to the other short stories in the book. Food for thought: What is the Elephant that Haruki is acknowledging in each short story in order for the “elephant in the room” to vanish?