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Think Again, Jumpei

Hideo Okuda

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Jumpei Sakamoto, 21, is a good-natured, bottom-rung foot soldier in a yakuza syndicate that claims the Kabukicho entertainment district near Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station as its territory. He can be quick to pick a fight, but he’s good-looking, has a soft spot for women, and enjoys a good following around the neighborhood. When the boss orders him to kill one of the top brass of a rival group, Jumpei takes it as the recognition he has been waiting for from the big man—and a chance to prove himself. Three days before the hit is to take place, the boss hands him ¥300,000 (about US$3,000) and gives him the time off, so Jumpei pulls out the stops to enjoy himself. To a woman who has come on to him, he lets slip what he’s been ordered to do. Amused, she promptly posts it on a social website, and messages from warnings to razzing to cheering him on begin to stream in: “You might want to think this through some more, Jumpei.” “What’s there to think about? Go for it!” “Is this Jumpei guy handsome? Show us a picture.” And so on.

The three days fly by as Jumpei lives it up in a hotel suite drinking with his yakuza buddies; is befriended by a former college professor who got caught trying to walk out on his bill; sees his mother for the first time in two years; and finally talks to the dancer he’s had a crush on for a long time. So what path does he choose to follow after these many meetings and partings . . .?

The publisher of the Korean translation paid more than ¥10 million for the rights to this coming-of-age masterpiece.

Author’s Information

Hideo Okuda (1959–) appeared on the Japanese literary scene like a bolt out of the blue. Unlike most contemporary writers in Japan, he made his way into print without first winning a new writer’s contest, and quickly established his popularity across a broad spectrum of genres, from crime novels to comedy, fantasy, and workplace fiction. After completing high school, he worked variously as a planner, copywriter, and production writer before bringing out his first work of fiction in 1997, the fantasy novel Uranbāna no mori (Ullambana Forest). A pair of highly realistic crime novels in 2002—Jama (Interference), which won the Haruhiko Ōyabu Award, and Saiaku (Worst Case), short-listed for the Naoki Prize—cemented his reputation, and in 2004 he garnered the Naoki for the story collection Kūchū buranko (The Flying Trapeze). He went on to win the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature in 2009 for the novel Orinpikku no minoshirokin (Olympic Ransom). Among his other titles are the novels Sausubaundo (Southbound), Uwasa no onna (The Woman on Everybody’s Lips), and Naomi to Kanoko (Naomi and Kanoko); and the story collections Iebiyori (Perfect Day at Home; 2007 Shibata Renzaburō Award) and Wagaya no himitsu (Family Secrets). Translations of his works have especially struck a chord with Korean and Chinese readers.

Series/Label ---
Released Date Dec 2013
Price ¥580
Size ---
Total Page Number 305 pages
Color Page Number ---
ISBN 9784334766627
Category Literature/Nonfictions/Culture/Humanities
Visualization experience YES (Adapted into a movie in 2018.)