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Oh!: A Mystery of 'Mono No Aware'

by and

Oh!: A Mystery of 'Mono No Aware' Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Oh! was selected for National Public Radio's summer reading list. NPR reviewer Lucia Silva called it a triumphant kick in the pants for anyone who doubts the future of paper-and-ink books. The mysterious tension between material things and emotional attachment to them oscillates throughout Japanese history and culture. With a keen and sympathetic eye, Todd Shimoda explores an individual's dangerous quest to waken his numb soul to this exquisite reverberation.

As in Kawabata Yasunari's famous novella, The Master of Go, the lacrimae rerum of a dying tradition become a river, inexorably flowing toward the ocean of death.

Can an aesthetic concept developed in Japan 300 years ago be revived and made relevant to a contemporary American audience? This is what Todd Shimoda so masterly achieves in his fascinating novel Oh! A mystery of Mono no Aware. This is a journey through a delicate world of emotions and poetry on the part of a young Japanese American from Los Angeles who in his search for the native roots uncovers the complexities of being human in a world framed by skepticism and rationality. Structured as a thriller with a most unexpected finale, Shimoda's novel unravels like a Japanese scroll — one cannot put it down until the last scene comes into full view and, with it, the realization that the realm of feelings (mono no aware) is far from being an innocent enterprise; it carries risks that one must be ready to pay in order to fully understand.

Oh! is a hybrid novel, with nonfiction and artwork mixed in. The main storyline follows Zack Hara, a young Japanese American searching for an emotional life while traveling in Japan. Zack finds an ally in a professor and underground poet who introduces him to the concept of mono no aware, roughly translated as the emotive essence of things, or the sadness in beauty. The professor, grieving for a missing daughter, assigns Zack a set of mysterious tasks. Zack's search for self-discovery turns into a search for the professor's missing daughter, and draws him into the tragic phenomenon of suicide clubs.

Review:

"The mysterious tension between material things and emotional attachment to them oscillates throughout Japanese history and culture. With a keen and sympathetic eye, Todd Shimoda explores an individual's dangerous quest to waken his numb soul to this exquisite reverberation. As in Kawabata Yasunari's famous novella, The Master of Go, the lacrimae rerum of a dying tradition become a river, inexorably flowing toward the ocean of death. Fascinated, the reader cannot help but follow the flow." Liza Dalby, author of The Tale of Murasaki: A Novel and Geisha

Review:

"Can an aesthetic concept developed in Japan three hundred years ago be revived and made relevant to a contemporary American audience? This is what Todd Shimoda so masterly achieves in his fascinating novel Oh! A mystery of Mono no Aware. This is a journey through a delicate world of emotions and poetry on the part of a young Japanese American from Los Angeles who in his search for the native roots uncovers the complexities of being human in a world framed by skepticism and rationality. Structured as a thriller with a most unexpected finale, Shimoda's novel unravels like a Japanese scroll — one cannot put it down until the last scene comes into full view and, with it, the realization that the realm of feelings (mono no aware) is far from being an innocent enterprise; it carries risks that one must be ready to pay in order to fully understand. This is a brilliant novel — it makes the reader feel the pleasure of thinking." Michael F. Marra, professor of Japanese literature, UCLA

Review:

"Shimoda's multilayered Oh! shimmers with verve and nerve." Leza Lowitz, author of Green Tea to Go: Stories from Tokyo

Review:

"This is the most compelling and complete account I have read of the exploration into the sudden, intense moment of awareness; the inherent state of sadness of life; the moments which, as Shimoda's character explains, makes us gasp 'oh!' with heightened awareness and wistfulness." Laura Pritchett, author of Sky Bridge and Hell's Bottom, Colorado

Review:

"In seamless counterpoint to the philosophical current, Shimoda shapes a delicate mystery that grows darker as the novel progresses. The book itself is a fine work of art, with a gorgeous, embossed cover, rice-paper-thin pages, and textured paper inserts with illustrations that offer clues to Zack's fate — a triumphant kick in the pants for anyone who doubts the future of paper-and-ink books." Lucia Silva, NPR, Summer's Best Books

Review:

"Not only is Shimoda a consummate storyteller with a clean, relaxed, graceful style, but the book itself is a work of art. Have I mentioned that every chapter begins with a first paragraph in page-filling type and a little woodblock illustration beside each chapter number, and facing each chapter a beautiful, moody calligraphy watercolor abstract by the author's wife? Chin Music Press has created a book of visual delight that is sure to cause a little mono no aware in book lovers." Booklist

Review:

"Oh! is in itself a definition of mono no aware, an expression of astonishment. It's a singular reading experience." Paul Constant, The Stranger

Review:

"Fascinated, the reader cannot help but follow the flow." Liza Dalby, author of The Tale of Murasaki: A Novel and Geisha

Review:

"This is the most compelling and complete account I have read of the exploration into the sudden, intense moment of awareness; the inherent state of sadness of life; the moments which, as Shimoda's character explains, makes us gasp 'oh ' with heightened awareness and wistfulness." Laura Pritchett, author of Sky Bridge and Hell's Bottom, Colorado

Synopsis:

Oh! is a hybrid novel, with nonfiction and artwork mixed in. The main storyline follows Zack Hara, a young Japanese American searching for an emotional life while traveling in Japan. Zack finds an ally in a professor and underground poet who introduces him to the concept of mono no aware, roughly translated as the emotive essence of things, or the sadness in beauty. The professor, grieving for a missing daughter, assigns Zack a set of mysterious tasks. Zack's search for self-discovery turns into a search for the professor's missing daughter, and draws him into the tragic phenomenon of suicide clubs.

Synopsis:

A jaded American, deadened by consumer culture, becomes dangerously obsessed with a group suicide in Japan.

Synopsis:

Zack Hara is dead inside, devoid of passion, hate, love, any sustained emotion. The twenty-something technical writer trudges through each day in LA like a zombie, until he leaves his job, part-time lover, and antique Chevy pickup truck to travel to Japan. There, searching for an emotional life, Zack becomes entwined with a tragic poet, a sensual but disillusioned woman, and young people who form suicide clubs — all propelling him down a dangerous path.

Synopsis:

Oh was selected for National Public Radio's summer reading list. NPR reviewer Lucia Silva called it a triumphant kick in the pants for anyone who doubts the future of paper-and-ink books. The mysterious tension between material things and emotional attachment to them oscillates throughout Japanese history and culture. With a keen and sympathetic eye, Todd Shimoda explores an individual's dangerous quest to waken his numb soul to this exquisite reverberation. As in Kawabata Yasunari's famous novella, The Master of Go, the lacrimae rerum of a dying tradition become a river, inexorably flowing toward the ocean of death. Fascinated, the reader cannot help but follow the flow.--Liza Dalby, author of The Tale of Murasaki: A Novel and Geisha Can an aesthetic concept developed in Japan 300 years ago be revived and made relevant to a contemporary American audience? This is what Todd Shimoda so masterly achieves in his fascinating novel Oh A mystery of Mono no Aware. This is a journey through a delicate world of emotions and poetry on the part of a young Japanese American from Los Angeles who in his search for the native roots uncovers the complexities of being human in a world framed by skepticism and rationality. Structured as a thriller with a most unexpected finale, Shimoda's novel unravels like a Japanese scroll--one cannot put it down until the last scene comes into full view and, with it, the realization that the realm of feelings (mono no aware) is far from being an innocent enterprise; it carries risks that one must be ready to pay in order to fully understand. This is a brilliant novel--it makes the reader feel the pleasure of thinking.--Michael F. Marra, professor of Japanese literature, UCLA This is the most compelling and complete account I have read of the exploration into the sudden, intense moment of awareness; the inherent state of sadness of life; the moments which, as Shimoda's character explains, makes us gasp 'oh ' with heightened awareness and wistfulness.--Laura Pritchett, author of Sky Bridge and Hell's Bottom, Colorado

Oh is a hybrid novel, with nonfiction and artwork mixed in. The main storyline follows Zack Hara, a young Japanese American searching for an emotional life while traveling in Japan. Zack finds an ally in a professor and underground poet who introduces him to the concept of mono no aware, roughly translated as the emotive essence of things, or the sadness in beauty. The professor, grieving for a missing daughter, assigns Zack a set of mysterious tasks. Zack's search for self-discovery turns into a search for the professor's missing daughter, and draws him into the tragic phenomenon of suicide clubs.

Todd Shimoda, of Hawaii, has published two popular novels that deal with Japan and Japanese themes: 365 Views of Mt. Fuji (Stone Bridge Press) and The Fourth Treasure (Nan Talese/Doubleday). The books have been translated into six languages with over one hundred thousand copies printed worldwide. The Fourth Treasure was listed as a 2002 Notable Book by the Kiriyama Prize.

Linda Shimoda is an accomplished artist, illustrator, and book designer. She is also the curator of the Kaua'i Museum in Hawaii. Her illustrations and artwork have appeared in both of husband Todd Shimoda's first two novels. In Oh , her artwork offers clues to the fate of the novel's protagonist, Zack Hara.

About the Author

Todd Shimoda, of Hawaii, has published two popular novels that deal with Japan and Japanese themes: 365 Views of Mt. Fuji(Stone Bridge Press) and The Fourth Treasure (Nan Talese/Doubleday). The books have been translated into six languages with over one hundred thousand copies printed worldwide. The Fourth Treasure was listed as a 2002 Notable Book by the Kiriyama Prize.

Linda Shimoda is an accomplished artist, illustrator, and book designer. She is also the curator of the Kaua'i Museum in Hawaii. Her illustrations and artwork have appeared in both of husband Todd Shimoda's first two novels. In Oh!, her artwork offers clues to the fate of the novel's protagonist, Zack Hara.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780974199566
Author:
Todd and Linda Shimoda
Publisher:
Chin Music
Illustrator:
Shimoda, Linda
Author:
Shimoda, Todd
Author:
Shimoda, Linda
Author:
Shimoda, L.J.C.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Japanese Americans
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 color and BandW photographs and illus
Pages:
310
Dimensions:
9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 in 23.5 oz

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Oh!: A Mystery of 'Mono No Aware' Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.50 In Stock
Product details 310 pages Chin Music - English 9780974199566 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The mysterious tension between material things and emotional attachment to them oscillates throughout Japanese history and culture. With a keen and sympathetic eye, Todd Shimoda explores an individual's dangerous quest to waken his numb soul to this exquisite reverberation. As in Kawabata Yasunari's famous novella, The Master of Go, the lacrimae rerum of a dying tradition become a river, inexorably flowing toward the ocean of death. Fascinated, the reader cannot help but follow the flow."
"Review" by , "Can an aesthetic concept developed in Japan three hundred years ago be revived and made relevant to a contemporary American audience? This is what Todd Shimoda so masterly achieves in his fascinating novel Oh! A mystery of Mono no Aware. This is a journey through a delicate world of emotions and poetry on the part of a young Japanese American from Los Angeles who in his search for the native roots uncovers the complexities of being human in a world framed by skepticism and rationality. Structured as a thriller with a most unexpected finale, Shimoda's novel unravels like a Japanese scroll — one cannot put it down until the last scene comes into full view and, with it, the realization that the realm of feelings (mono no aware) is far from being an innocent enterprise; it carries risks that one must be ready to pay in order to fully understand. This is a brilliant novel — it makes the reader feel the pleasure of thinking."
"Review" by , "Shimoda's multilayered Oh! shimmers with verve and nerve."
"Review" by , "This is the most compelling and complete account I have read of the exploration into the sudden, intense moment of awareness; the inherent state of sadness of life; the moments which, as Shimoda's character explains, makes us gasp 'oh!' with heightened awareness and wistfulness."
"Review" by , "In seamless counterpoint to the philosophical current, Shimoda shapes a delicate mystery that grows darker as the novel progresses. The book itself is a fine work of art, with a gorgeous, embossed cover, rice-paper-thin pages, and textured paper inserts with illustrations that offer clues to Zack's fate — a triumphant kick in the pants for anyone who doubts the future of paper-and-ink books."
"Review" by , "Not only is Shimoda a consummate storyteller with a clean, relaxed, graceful style, but the book itself is a work of art. Have I mentioned that every chapter begins with a first paragraph in page-filling type and a little woodblock illustration beside each chapter number, and facing each chapter a beautiful, moody calligraphy watercolor abstract by the author's wife? Chin Music Press has created a book of visual delight that is sure to cause a little mono no aware in book lovers."
"Review" by , "Oh! is in itself a definition of mono no aware, an expression of astonishment. It's a singular reading experience."
"Review" by , "Fascinated, the reader cannot help but follow the flow."
"Review" by , "This is the most compelling and complete account I have read of the exploration into the sudden, intense moment of awareness; the inherent state of sadness of life; the moments which, as Shimoda's character explains, makes us gasp 'oh ' with heightened awareness and wistfulness."
"Synopsis" by , Oh! is a hybrid novel, with nonfiction and artwork mixed in. The main storyline follows Zack Hara, a young Japanese American searching for an emotional life while traveling in Japan. Zack finds an ally in a professor and underground poet who introduces him to the concept of mono no aware, roughly translated as the emotive essence of things, or the sadness in beauty. The professor, grieving for a missing daughter, assigns Zack a set of mysterious tasks. Zack's search for self-discovery turns into a search for the professor's missing daughter, and draws him into the tragic phenomenon of suicide clubs.
"Synopsis" by ,
A jaded American, deadened by consumer culture, becomes dangerously obsessed with a group suicide in Japan.
"Synopsis" by , Zack Hara is dead inside, devoid of passion, hate, love, any sustained emotion. The twenty-something technical writer trudges through each day in LA like a zombie, until he leaves his job, part-time lover, and antique Chevy pickup truck to travel to Japan. There, searching for an emotional life, Zack becomes entwined with a tragic poet, a sensual but disillusioned woman, and young people who form suicide clubs — all propelling him down a dangerous path.
"Synopsis" by , Oh was selected for National Public Radio's summer reading list. NPR reviewer Lucia Silva called it a triumphant kick in the pants for anyone who doubts the future of paper-and-ink books. The mysterious tension between material things and emotional attachment to them oscillates throughout Japanese history and culture. With a keen and sympathetic eye, Todd Shimoda explores an individual's dangerous quest to waken his numb soul to this exquisite reverberation. As in Kawabata Yasunari's famous novella, The Master of Go, the lacrimae rerum of a dying tradition become a river, inexorably flowing toward the ocean of death. Fascinated, the reader cannot help but follow the flow.--Liza Dalby, author of The Tale of Murasaki: A Novel and Geisha Can an aesthetic concept developed in Japan 300 years ago be revived and made relevant to a contemporary American audience? This is what Todd Shimoda so masterly achieves in his fascinating novel Oh A mystery of Mono no Aware. This is a journey through a delicate world of emotions and poetry on the part of a young Japanese American from Los Angeles who in his search for the native roots uncovers the complexities of being human in a world framed by skepticism and rationality. Structured as a thriller with a most unexpected finale, Shimoda's novel unravels like a Japanese scroll--one cannot put it down until the last scene comes into full view and, with it, the realization that the realm of feelings (mono no aware) is far from being an innocent enterprise; it carries risks that one must be ready to pay in order to fully understand. This is a brilliant novel--it makes the reader feel the pleasure of thinking.--Michael F. Marra, professor of Japanese literature, UCLA This is the most compelling and complete account I have read of the exploration into the sudden, intense moment of awareness; the inherent state of sadness of life; the moments which, as Shimoda's character explains, makes us gasp 'oh ' with heightened awareness and wistfulness.--Laura Pritchett, author of Sky Bridge and Hell's Bottom, Colorado

Oh is a hybrid novel, with nonfiction and artwork mixed in. The main storyline follows Zack Hara, a young Japanese American searching for an emotional life while traveling in Japan. Zack finds an ally in a professor and underground poet who introduces him to the concept of mono no aware, roughly translated as the emotive essence of things, or the sadness in beauty. The professor, grieving for a missing daughter, assigns Zack a set of mysterious tasks. Zack's search for self-discovery turns into a search for the professor's missing daughter, and draws him into the tragic phenomenon of suicide clubs.

Todd Shimoda, of Hawaii, has published two popular novels that deal with Japan and Japanese themes: 365 Views of Mt. Fuji (Stone Bridge Press) and The Fourth Treasure (Nan Talese/Doubleday). The books have been translated into six languages with over one hundred thousand copies printed worldwide. The Fourth Treasure was listed as a 2002 Notable Book by the Kiriyama Prize.

Linda Shimoda is an accomplished artist, illustrator, and book designer. She is also the curator of the Kaua'i Museum in Hawaii. Her illustrations and artwork have appeared in both of husband Todd Shimoda's first two novels. In Oh , her artwork offers clues to the fate of the novel's protagonist, Zack Hara.

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