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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: A good, clean ex library issue with a few usual marks has nicely clean dust jacket with a spine sticker. The text/pages are clean and free from rips, creases or other markings with rather light handling wear. A good spine, corners and page edge condition.
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Translucent Tree Hardcover – May 6, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical; 1st edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934287148
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934287149
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Translucent Tree left this reader with a feeling of pure insight into Japan, not unlike the movies of Hayao Miyazaki… This is a romance, a love story, and nothing is lost in translation.” — Los Angeles Times

"Translucent Tree
is impossible to label as simply romance. What I found was something more tuned-in with reality, especially a Japanese reality, but certainly human first." --Mecha Mecha Media

"I found Translucent Tree engrossing " --Katherine Dacey

"A story of a convincing, mature relationship which ends, despite its sort of fumbling beginnings, with deep love, respect, and eroticism." -- Library Thing

About the Author

Nobuko Takagi was born in 1946. Since her debut as a novelist in the early 80's, she has written prolifically, and has been the recipient of several literary awards, including the Akutagawa Prize, (the Japanese equivalent of The Pulitzer Prize) in 1984. Takagi is perhaps best known for her explorations on the theme of love. Her fiction deals with love in many different guises: pure love, married love, extra-marital affairs, and love triangles. Her investigation of the workings of the mind often focuses on the dark side of human nature. Other literary awards she has won include the Women's Literature Award(1995) the Tanizaki Junichiro Award (1999) for Translucent Tree and the Minister of Culture Award (2006). Many of her works have been translated and published in China and Taiwan, and Translucent Tree has been adapted to film in Japan, where it met huge success.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
TV producer Go Imai returns to the town of Tsurugi, where twenty-five years earlier he filmed a documentary about a master sword maker. The now old and ailing craftsman has no memory of him, but Go reconnects with the sword maker's daughter Chigiri, a divorced single mother.

Go and Chigiri aren't kids anymore, yet they're hit by an electrifying attraction that anyone else would call love at first sight. They're reluctant to give a name to this "entanglement of feelings." Anything named can be lost.

Since Go is married, their meetings are as isolated and dreamlike as the old cedar tree in Tsurugi that grows in a peculiar oblique fashion in the center of a field.

Translucent Tree has the stylistic purity of classic Japanese literature. Although this is the story of a grand passion, the writing is devoid of romantic clichés and conventions. Nobuku Takagi particularizes the experience of her two lovers with every detail, and they feel like real people. The reader is fully present with their embarrassments, fears and pleasures.

Translucent Tree is highly erotic. Yet in the very midst of "exploding with pleasure," the characters are expressing something beyond the physical. Sadly, body and spirit are seen as equally fragile.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it (if you don't mind scenes of explicit lovemaking).

Nobuko Takagi won the Tanizaki award for Translucent Tree, and I do sense a Tanizaki influence. As well as garnering literary acclaim, it was made into a movie. Translucent Tree is Takagi's first book to be translated into English.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just picked up this novel recently due to an urge to read something in hopes of finding a great literary piece. Was I blown away emotionally. Reading this novel, I was entranced by the portrayal of Chigiri Yamazaki, while being up there in age, she still retains her youthful aspects and character. I could not help but fall in love with her just as Go Imai had. Nobuko Takagi's descriptions of Chigiri, through the eye's of Go Imai, brought her to life vividly in front of me. At times I felt like I was Go Imai himself, having fallen so deeply in love with Chigiri in a forbidden and fleeting relationship. The story uses many imagery depicting the beautiful scenery in the country side town, Tsurugi along with several historical events that took place around it's surroundings.

Chigiri and Go both experiences a "love at first sight" phenomenon that turns them both into irrational adults, seeking out the physical company of the other. Their relationship suffers an awkward start due to both of them leading very different lifestyles, Go has a family he is detached from(and he doesn't feel guilty for sleeping with other women) and a job that consumes almost all of his time and Chigiri has an ill father and a child she needs to attend to, along with both of them living miles and miles apart from one another. Though the biggest obstacle at the start of their relationship would be "prostitution for money.
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