At the elementary school, once a week, we went to the library and read for an hour. I was watching the TV show, “Little House on the Prairie” at that time and chose books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, translated into Japanese. I then started to read the mystery series by Edogawa Ranpo. They involved the detective Akechi Kogoro and I, for the first time, borrowed books from the library and took home to finish. I couldn’t wait for another week.
As a school assignment, we had to read the story, “Hasire Melos (Run, Melos)” by Dazai Osamu and write an essay. It is a short story based on an ancient Greek legend about friendship. I didn’t care for the story but liked the writing. One day, I was glancing at my father’s bookshelves and recognized the name. I took one out and started to read. I was hooked. I felt like somebody thought like I did. Most of his works are dark. My parents were worried about their preadolescent girl reading these “adult” books and asked if I “understood” them. I don’t remember what I said to that. Once I was in high school, my parents stopped worrying about me reading dark tales and, on one birthday, they gave me a brand new hardcover book of collected works by him. I took that hardcover book with me when I left Japan and still have and cherish it.
As a small child, I didn’t care for fantasy world or characters, but now, many decades later, I tend to feel affectionate towards surreal arts. Whatever I have read must have some influence on the person I am today.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”
“What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?”