Synopses & Reviews
Na-o-mi. The three syllables of this name, unusual in 1920s Japan, captivate a 28-year-old engineer, who soon becomes infatuated with the girl so named, a teenaged café waitress. Drawn to her Eurasian features and innocent demeanor, Joji is eager to whisk young Naomi away from the seamy underbelly of post — World War I Tokyo and to mold her into his ideal wife. But when the two come together to indulge their shared passion for Western culture, Joji discovers that Naomi is far from being the naïve girl of his fantasies, and his passion descends into a comically helpless masochism.
A literary masterpiece that helped to establish Junichiro Tanizaki as Japan's greatest novelist, Naomi is both a hilarious story of one man's obsession and torment, and a brilliant evocation of a nation's cultural confusion.
About the Author
Junichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo in 1886 and lived there until the earthquake of 1923, when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region, the scene of his novel The Makioka Sisters (1943-48). Among his works are Naomi (1924), Some Prefer Nettles (1928), Quicksand (1930), Arrowroot (1931), A Portrait of Shunkin (1933), The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi (1935), modern versions of The Tale of Genji (1941, 1954, and 1965), Captain Shigemoto's Mother (1949), The Key (1956), and Diary of a Mad Old Man (1961). By 1930 he had gained such renown that an edition of his complete works was published, and he was awarded Japan's Imperial Prize in Literature in 1949. Tanizaki died in 1965.