This is a unique tale where children have many health issue, such as soft boiled me and teeth as they do not absorb calcium, but the already aged population are still healthy and spry at over a 100 years old and expect to live forever.
It tells about the relationship between Mumei and his great grandfather, Yoshiro, who looks after him and clearly dotes on him. He often weeps to see poor Mumei struggle, but he always reassures Yoshiro, that he can manage.
I found the insights into Japanese culture fascinating from foods, the interaction between people and even the Japanese style towels.
The story does jump from different perspectives and times but I didn’t find it confusing and it just built the story and characters well. Yoko Tawada, has written an almost poetic tale and she made Mumei and Yoshiro so real I felt for them both and the atmosphere she built stayed with me for some time. I will be reading this again, probably several times. I loved it.