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Fujisan by Randy Taguchi

This is an interesting collection of short stories with Mount Fuji as the setting

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This is an interesting collection of short stories set in Japan.

  • May 27, 2014
Fujisan is the best collection of short stories I have read in a long time. It is the first in which a mountain is the common thread in all stories. Mount Fuji is a symbol of the natural beauty of Japan. It is also a symbol of strength, hope and physical challenge for climbers. These four stories by Randy Taguchi are different in theme and tone. I love how the characters in each of these stories are bonded in some way. "The Blue Summit" is a story about the relationship between a convenience store manager a female coworker develop. This story also touches on the theme of mental illness and about how life does not always turn out the way people expect it too. Short stories can educate as well as entertain. "Sea Of Trees" does just that. This is a story about three teenagers who go on a camping trip in the forest.I did not know that a forest of trees existed at the base of Mount Fuji. This forest has a reputation for being a place where people commit suicide. This story touches on the theme of how friendship changes over time but it also covers the subjects of life and death. "Child of Light" is about a group of women who climb Mount Fuji together. Climbing a mountain is such a physical challenge and the reason why these women climb the mountain is what makes this story so fascinating. The main character is a young obstetrics nurse who struggles with her job and issue of abortion. there is also a character in this story who suffers the pain of losing an unborn child. Every character in this story is developed and well rounded. They seem like real people to me. I could empathize with every one of them. "Jamila" is a story about a female hoarder nicknamed Jamila and a young city employee who works in the office of Environmental Quality. He is assigned to get this hoarder to get rid of her trash. I have never heard of a person working in environmental quality before. Taguchi makes me believe there could be a need for a job like this in the future. The stories in Fujisan are thoughtful and very entertaining.

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