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Kodansha International
River Ki / Edition 3

River Ki / Edition 3

by Sawako Ariyoshi


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River Ki / Edition 3

The River Ki, short and swift and broad like most Japanese rivers, flows into the sea not far south of Osaka. On its journey seaward, it passes through countryside that has long been at the heart of the Japanese tradition. And it flows too past the mountains and the villages, past the dams, ditches and rice fields that provide such a richly textured backdrop to this novel.

Powerful enough to sweep away people on its banks and placid enough to carry along with its flow a sumptuous wedding procession, the River Ki dominates the lives of the people who live in its fertile valley and imparts a vital strength to the three women, mother, daughter and granddaughter, around whom this novel is built. It provides them with the courage to cope, in their different ways, with the unprecedented changes that occurred in Japan between the last years of the last century and the middle of this century.

Sawako Ariyoshi, one of Japan's most successful modern novelists, describes this social and cultural revolution largely through the eyes of Hana, a woman with the vision and integrity to understand the inevitability of the death of the traditional order in Japan. Ariyoshi writes with a love for detail bound to a broader understanding of the importance of the geographical and biological forces that mold her characters—and the result is a story that flows with all the vitality of the River Ki itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2904770030008
Publisher: Kodansha International
Publication date: 07/28/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

SAWAKO ARIYOSHI was born in 1931 in Wakayama City. As a student she developed a deep interest in the theater, both modern drama and traditional Kabuki, and her own plays are widely performed in Japan. Many of her novels have also been adapted for the stage, the cinema, and television.

Ariyoshi first rose to prominence in the 1950s as a writer of short stories, but has since built an impressive reputation as a novelist dealing with crucial social issues. Among her themes have been the problems faced by women in the traditional Japanese household (Hanaoka seishu no tsuma, 1967, translated as "The Doctor's Wife"), racial segregation in the United States (Hishoku, 1964), and environmental pollution (Fukugo-osen, 1975). Her Kokotsu no hito (The Twilight Years) was published in 1972 and sold over a million copies in less than a year.

Translations of her books have appeared throughout the world and include a French translation of The Doctor's Wife, which was a bestseller in France in 1981; The River Ki; The Twilight Years; Her Highness Princess Kazu, awarded the prestigious Mainichi Cultural Prize in 1979; and Kabuki Dancer. Ariyoshi died in 1984.

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The River Ki 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
T.O More than 1 year ago
Tone Okotie

The River Ki Book Review

¿Take a good look around you, Hanako. The Meiji and Taisho eras of the Matani family have come to a close with Grandfathers death (The River KI 191). This is an example of how deeply rooted the characters are in the story. The story takes place during the late 1800¿s to early 1900¿s, during the second World War. Hana Kimoto, The granddaughter of Toyono Kimoto is a strong willed mother of five who is devoted to her family and has a strong belief in tradition. Her daughter Fumio is the opposite of her mother, loud, unwilling and acts like a tomboy. Fumio represents the transition from the old traditional ways of the Matani family to the new modern way. I recommend this book to those of you who enjoy intellectually challenging, and traditional based novels.
The River Ki is a difficult book to get through. You have to pay close attention to the story in order to understand what happens next. ¿The white snake like a white rabbit had red eyes which stared up at the sky and were utterly expressionless (The River Ki 241). This quote taken from the book is very tricky to decipher if you aren¿t reading carefully. It refers to the past and an old folktale that was told in Japan. If you refer back to earlier chapters it is shown there. The authors in depth tone and attention to detail really make this an interesting novel.
Hana Kimoto is one of the main characters in the beginning of the book. She represents a traditional and well mannered woman from Japan. She is raised by her Grandmother who teaches her wow to be a respectable young woman. She took care of her and also sent her to one of the best schools in Japan. Hana had marriage proposals come in from all over Japan before she got married. Her family represented an upstanding example of what a traditional Japanese family aspired to be. ¿Mother your talking nonsense. You can¿t discuss turning down the Sudas and sending Hana to the Matani¿s in the same breath (The River Ki 14). They are discussing the terms of Hana¿s marriage. In Japan arraigned marriages were traditional and mandatory back then. Hana¿s daughter Fumio is the complete opposite of her mother. She is loud, unruly and obnoxious. She represents the transition of the Matani family from old traditional ways to the new and more modern ways of thinking. She shows mixed emotions at the thought of an arraigned marriage. She is resilient at first but eventually she gives in to her mother and gets married. Unlike her mother Fumio thought of how the marriage would affect her and she questioned her tradition and that eventually led to one of the greater points of the story.
Though the story is detailed and has a lot of interesting characters the book does have a minor setback. For a book of its kind dealing with numerous detail, it¿s long. This would sway some readers but it is still a good book
The River Ki is a very interesting book. It talks about tradition and many other valuable ideals. This novel has a lot of interesting characters and each character has a very in depth story. I would recommend this book to those of you that like intellectually challenging and traditional based novels.
perspectives More than 1 year ago
The book The River Ki, by Sawako Ariyoshi explores many Japanese traditions, rituals, and family issues that a Japanese mother has to deal with. The main character Hana faces many obstacles, dealing with the issues of trying to fit in with her husbands family, leaving her home, and trying to decrease the trouble some she has with her daughter Fumio. Since the book is written in third person point of view, the narration gives the reader a great synopsis of each character¿s personality and feelings. I would really recommend this book to people who are interested in reading about Japanese history and are curious about reading topics that discuss a lot of family related real life issues.
One strength of The River Ki is the way it portrays its character¿s personalities. Throughout the book, many of the characters speak with a lot of feeling and creativity. It¿s like you can imagine what the character is saying to you inside. For example, after Fumio¿s teacher Mr. Tamura is expelled from the school, Fumio reacts harshly and very criticaly towards her mother Hana. The next sentence is: ¿Mother, why were you meddling in my affairs? I was determined to fight fair and square, even if I were expelled from school. I would have accepted what was coming to me and fought all my life of injustice of every kind.¿ (Ariyoshi 97) Fumio really had a crush on he teacher Mr. Tamura. However, Hana Fumio¿s mother wasn¿t never really too fond of Mr. Tamura. So, Mr. Tamura ended up getting expelled from the school where he taught, leading Fumio to be coming a very upset and angry little girl. This example reveals many thoughts and feelings the characters share and have with one another, even through a simple thought.

Another strength of The River Ki, is the language and the format of the book. The way the author writes the book is very figurative and descriptive, with many details included. For example, when Hana is on her death bed, she expresses how she feels towards her daughter Fumio. The next sentence is: ¿Your father once said that he wish you had been a boy. Seiichiro had disappointed him relatively early. After that I did all I could do to see that Seiichiro did not disgrace the family. Fumio I felt so lonely when you ignored my efforts.¿(Ariyoshi 235) Hana tried very hard after her husband Keisaku died to keep her eldest son Seiichiro still the head male of the family. However, Hana feel hurt, because her daughter Fumio doesn¿t see the hard work that Hana has been trying to do to keep their family together. This quote is an example of figurative and descriptive language, because in detail, it describes how the character Hana has been feeling dealing with the issues of trying to keep her family together, and trying to stay close to her daughter Fumio.
Some may say that The River Ki is a boring book that has no rising action or a climax. This may be true, however, The River Ki is interesting despite this, because it has very descriptive language and characters, whose personalities have a lot of feeling. Whatever the character is saying, you can visualize it in your mind. For example, when Hana was on her death bed, her mind just went into zone where she just began to express how she felt about Fumio her daughter, and what things Hana herself did to keep their family together.
To conclude, I would recommend this book to people who are interested in reading about Japanese culture and history through out Japan¿s past and future. The River Ki is a
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gabberz More than 1 year ago
¿Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength¿ (Arnold Schwarzenegger). The book I am writing about is The River KI by Sawako Ariyoshi is about a Japanese family going through struggles. After all of the struggles they went through all of them still have strength to go on in life and not let the struggles stopping them from doing anything. The story takes place in Japan before and during World War 2. Hana and Keisaku are married and have kids. Their 2nd child they have together is Fumio. Hana and Fumio go through a hard time together. I recommend this book to the people who are willing to read a book about family struggles and feelings.

One reason why I recommend The River Ki is that the story is about a Japanese family that struggles with marriages and deaths in the family. Hana struggles to find a husband for her daughter Fumio. ¿I wanted above all to have Fumio marry before she turned twenty-one¿ (Ariyoshi 138). Hana¿s brother-in-law Kosaku¿s daughter Misono died of drowning. ¿¿ Kosaku¿s daughter fell into the Narutaki River and was drowned¿ (Ariyoshi 149). It must be really hard losing someone so closed to you. When you lose someone that is closed to you it affects you a lot like sometimes you don¿t even want to move on in life because of the death of that person. A death can affect you in so many ways and you might not even know how to control your reactions.

Another reason why I¿d recommend the book is because the characters in the book have feelings. When I read The River Ki I could see myself in the situations of the book. For example, when Hana hit Fumio¿s hand; ¿In that instant, Fumio felt a flash of pain on her right hand. Hana had struck the back of Fumio¿s hand¿ (Ariyoshi 119). Fumio must have been shocked to see her mother do that to her knowing that she had never done that to her before. Also, When Fumio¿s daughter Hanako was born prematurely and became very sick. ¿Fumio¿s baby, born a month prematurely, had been placed in a strange box called an incubator and was being taken care of by the nurses in a separate room¿ (Ariyoshi 173). This reminds me of when my nephew was born because he was born 6 weeks early and was very sick.

Some people may say that The River KI is not good and wouldn¿t recommend it for others to read. They may say that the story is slow and that it doesn¿t really have a high point until the end. I would have to say to that is that if the story is slow and the high point isn¿t till the end of the book then people might want to read the whole book then. People may like that a story is slow and that the high point is close to the end. People may want to read all the way to the end of the book if the high point is at the end is because they would want to know what would happen.

In conclusion, I would like to recommend people to read The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi. I would recommend it because the story deals with struggles that a family goes through. To me I say you have to go through struggles to get strength. So many of the characters in the book have a lot of strength.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The River of Overflowing Events Envision the sound of water rushing against the rocks and the tranquil blue color sitting quietly above its surface. The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi, explores 19th century Japan through the life of Hana, whose fidelity to her beliefs of traditional Japan decides the future of the Matani residence. Although intense and shocking events happen throughout the book, Hana is a meek and traditional woman, and has a daughter who is open to a new world of modern affairs. As she decides how to raise her family, she lives a fulfilling life, and in the end tries to define the meaning of life. In traditional Japan, young ladies are raised to go to school to learn how to raise a family, an uprising conflict in the book as modern occurrences influence younger generations to forget old customs. It is believed that ¿a woman¿s role is to bear children in order to preserve the family line.¿(Ariyoshi 9) Hana graduates from Wakayama Girls¿ School and is raised by her grandmother within the traditional Japanese values. Later, Hana has a daughter who rebelliously fights her way to follow modern customs. As she holds her family together, she faces the challenges of raising her family in Japan¿s valuable customs while her daughter decides to follow contemporary values of other cultures. As Hana lives, drastic changes occur from war to the Meiji Period. Hana endures these trying times. Hanako Hana¿s granddaughter saw the ancient tower burn to the ground. ¿Grandmother!¿ cried Hanako in alarm as Hana, who had been holding her hand, staggered and fell to her knees.¿(pg 212) Throughout the novel the author tells the story of one person through a list of events. As you read you will understand why tradition is important and how Hana clings on to ongoing customs. This book is a well written novel about traditional Japanese culture. In the end you are left with one question which will have you asking for more. It will leave with your own conclusion as to what happened. In this exhilarating novel, the language describing the setting is very descriptive so you can visualize that you are there.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿It amuses me to imagine how my own daughter will rebel against me and regard her grandmother with affection.¿ 'Ariyoshi 222' Hanako wrote to her grandmother, Hana. In The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi Hanako, wrote to Hana, the main character, about how she was, and was feeling about her mother, Fumio. The River Ki takes place in Japan, in both Wakayama prefecture and Tokyo, from the 1880s to the1960s and is about how time has affected Hana and the Matani family. Ariyoshi¿s characters are very believable two are Hana, and Fumio. In many ways, Hana and her daughter Fumio are opposites. Hana believes the old ways are best, but Fumio thinks change is for the better. For example, when Hana reads a leaflet, ¿Printed in bold letters¿were the words: We must fight to the finish! Please shorten your kimono sleeves at once! The Japanese Women¿s Association, Tokyo Brach,¿ her response is to wonder what could be done with the leftover fabric from the kimono sleeves instead of thinking about equal rights for women. 'Ariyoshi, 205' Hana doesn¿t see how this is a way of speaking up for all Japanese women, and how she thinks `The Japanese Women¿s Association¿ is pointless. Is it her refusal to change that makes her so believable? Yes. On the other hand, when 18 year old Fumio speaks with her uncle, Kosaku, ¿It¿s intolerable that mother hasn¿t change at all¿but I¿ll never be old fashioned like mother.¿ 'Ariyoshi, 113'. Fumio wants to be anything, as long as she is not like her mother. In many ways this is true, most girls want to be the opposite of their mother or the same. This is why you can empathize with Hana and Fumio because of their mother-daughter relationship The River Ki reads at a slow pace and is sometimes hard to read. An example of this is when Ariyoshi is talking about Kosaku at the main family house, ¿Kosaku often came to visit the main family¿ 'Ariyoshi, 65'. This is the pace of the entire book, dull and dry. Then she skips from one point in the story to another. For example, the novel describes Hana as obedient to how the household has become hectic, ¿And yet a look or a word was enough to keep her husband in check. It was a hectic time in and around the Matani household when Hana had her second child,¿ 'Ariyoshi, 47'. You look back to make sure you didn¿t miss anything but she just didn¿t add anyway to tell what happen. This is why it is slow pace and a somewhat hard read. The River Ki is a real ¿put me down¿ you could say. It is for people with great passion for reading Japanese books. It does have it lovable characters it doesn¿t have a good writing style. This book is not recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quaylen Sanders October 5, 2007 10 A The River Ki: Examined ¿A girl who rebels against her mother usually finds it unbearable to realize that she is no match for the older woman and Fumio was no exception.¿ Fumio, one of the main characters also known as the rebellious character in the book found it hard to match her mother Hana. In the novel, The River Ki, by Sawako Ariyoshi, explains how a woman named Hana overcomes many obstacles, and her children being one of them. The characters in the book are just like normal people because the way the characters act and would be perceived is just like real people. For example, Hana and her husband Keisaku discuss Fumio¿s life away from the family much the same way parents today might discuss how their son/daughter has matured while away at college, ¿Fumio has been leading quite an exciting life.¿ `Really?¿ `Yes indeed.¿ `She says that since men and women have equal rights, women should go to places frequented by men.¿ 'Ariyoshi ' The author uses dialogue to develop the characters is strong because the readers can have a strong connection with the characters, because of how real they seem. The theme of the novel could be variety of things, but the main one the reader should pull away from the book is everything changes as time changes or goes on. For example, Hana lives by the methods taught to her by her grandmother, and her daughter Fumio lives by the changes that is making its way into the society. The author shows strength because, reading this book the reader can learn something that most people fail to understand, which is, what is time? How does time connect with life? The conclusion of this book will leave the reader wondering and wanting to know what happened. In conclusion, this book takes place a little time before and during the Meiji Restoration. In short, this is a good book to read if the reader wants to know about how family life and the way Japan was governed during the Meiji Period.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever felt like your child is disrespectful towards you, or that you married the wrong person for the wrong reasons? That¿s how Hana, the protagonist of The River Ki, feels. In The River Ki, a novel written by Sawako Ariyoshi, Hana wants to get married, but has trouble finding the right guy. When, finally, she has no time left to choose, her family arranges for her to get married to Keisaku Matani. Set in Wakayama, Japan, The River Ki is a book about leaving your past behind and having respect for your elders. I recommend this book to people that like reading about different countries. One strength of The River Ki is the way it is written. It is packed with figurative language, and the descriptions of things are so good that you can visualize what is going on in the story. For example, as Kosaku is talking to Fumio about her mother, he tells her how her mother is like the River Ki. ¿Your mother is a good example of a strong woman. You can compare her to the River Ki. Its blue waters, flowing leisurely, appear tranquil and gentle, but the river itself swallows up all the weak rives flowing in the same direction.¿ (p.111) Even though the language is good, the biggest strength of The River Ki is the author¿s style of writing. When she writes, she uses a variety of long sentences and short sentences to explain what¿s going on. For example, as Hana is eavesdropping, she hears two women arguing over her. ¿Listening in from the side, Hana realized that the two women were no longer competing with one another over her as they once had and reflected upon the years they had slipped by since she left the Kimoto household.¿ (p.56) One weakness of The River Ki is the way the story is written. The story is kind of dull in the first couple of chapters, but gets interesting towards the end of the book. They talk about the same thing for about fifty pages before changing the subject. Towards the end of the book is where the exciting action takes place. People start dying and the arguing begins. ¿Keisaku died of a sudden heart attack at the age of sixty-six.¿ (p. 188) Although there is one major weakness, the strengths outweigh it. I recommend The River Ki to readers who like reading about the different countries of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Maribel Valtierra Humanities 1/22/07 THE RIVER KI Have you ever wondered how life in Japan is? Have you ever imagined how differently people act in Japan? In the book The River Ki, the protagonist, Hana has a conflict with her rebellious daughter, Fumio. The novel The River Ki a 243-page novel written by Sawako Ariyoshi takes place in Japan in a town called Wakayama City. The conflict Hana and her daughter is that Fumio doesn¿t want to follow Hana¿s old traditional ways Fumio wants to live a more modern life. I would recommend this book because it is a really good book for people who have patience reading slow books. One strength of The River Ki is that it is realistic. It is realistic because Hana and her daughter Fumio are always getting into arguments, the way mothers and daughters usually do. Fumio starts getting more and more rebellious as she gets older because she want to live a modern life and Hana wants to be traditional, like how she was taught when she was younger. ¿But for some reason Fumio was extremely hostile toward her mother and always highly critical of her.¿(P.97) Another strength about the book The River Ki is that it reveals details about life in Japan. It has details about how they celebrate things, how they dress and types of food they eat. It is important to learn about other cultures because you find out different types of ways they celebrate things, you also learn how their lives are differently than ours and the hard times they had to go through, like the isolation and how they were born into one class system. One thing I enjoyed learning about was the koto, which is a Japanese instrument that is similar to a harp. ¿The koto which had been returned was the very one Hana had brought from Kudoyama city. The gold lacquer along its side panels was old fashioned.¿(P.156) One weakness about the book The River Ki is that the book is kind confusing. This is because there are parts of the story where it¿s at one point, and then it skips to another part. For example in this part of the story Toku is still at Hana¿s house and then it skips to the part were Toyono is already reading Hana¿s letter. ¿Why do I have to deliver it in person? Toku muttered to the maids. Toyono had finished reading Hana¿s elegantly letter, she burst into laughter.¿(P.32). It is also a slow book, so you need to have patience to read the book and get to the good parts. However, I would say that The River Ki has more strengths than weaknesses. I would recommend this book to anyone that has time and patience to read the slow books. The River Ki has conflicts to do with every day life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chacarye¿l T. Scott January 11, 2007 Humanities 10a The River Ki Have you ever thought about what will happen if you were raised by traditional ways, and then all of a sudden, surrounded by rebelliousness? That¿s what happens to Hana, the protagonist of The River Ki. She was taught to always live by her traditional ways and she wants to raise her daughter Fumio this way, but she rebels. This story takes place before and during the World War II. The River Ki, is a story of traditions, family, and romance. I would recommend this novel, written by Sawako Ariyoshi, to anyone who likes to read traditional books. The author of the book is Sawako Ariyoshi , the book is fiction. The River Ki has a lot of strengths. The book¿s language is very sophisticated and formal. For example, ¿This is indeed a most auspicious day.¿ (pg 24.) The book is also written in 3rd point of view. For example: ` ¿Hana automatically removed the comb¿ (pg 51) ¿Kosaku is so pathetic¿. (pg 52) Third person, point of view shows you some things about each character, and it gives you a sense of style of each character. I also related to one of the characters name Fumio, she was the daughter of Hana. Fumio is very into modern ways but her mother wants her to follow the traditional ways. The author Sawako Ariyoshi is very unique but it¿s very different. In this quote she gives you an imagery of whats going on. For example: ¿Dazed, Hana raised the wick of the lamp. She had been completely shaken by the words¿¿ (pg 53). The River Ki also has one major weakness it drags at the very beginning. For example, when, Hana is getting ready to go off and meet her husband. ¿Hana, remembering that she was on her wedding journey¿ she should refrain¿ nonetheless, she could not help thinking that¿¿ (pg 21). The book is very confusing at the beginning... For example, when Kosaku was comparing Hana to the river ki. ¿The River Ki flows from east to west. If someone from the kimoto family goes to the Suda family¿she has to travel from west to east against the flow of the river. Brides from families along the Ki must never travel up stream. (pg 13) ¿. Sometimes you will have to keep reading the sentence or paragraph over to understand what was going on. The author wasn¿t very specific when they got new characters in the story, no brief description. The protagonist in The River Ki is a woman name Hana. Her daughter Fumio is antagonist. Both Hana and her daughter Fumio are round characters because they are very complex and their personalities have depth. Hana is a static character because she didn¿t change she kept following her traditional ways. Fumio, on the other hand, is a dynamic character, because at first she believes in modern ways, but eventually, she starts to realize that her mother only wanted the best for her, and she then considers believing in and following traditional ways. Characterization affects the reader only because it gives you a sense of style of each character. It helps me understand that some times traditional is a good way to follow. But also being modern is a good way because you can learn different things. I would recommend this book because it is a very good book, in spite of the fact that drags and is confusing at times. Everyone can relate to characters in this book, it gives you snapshots and imagery, and it takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. The River Ki has you wanting to read on and never wanting you to put the book down. This book is a very good book and I will give it 4 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What is family to you? To me, my family represents the most important people in my life. Sometimes, your family might be the only people that you can talk to when something goes wrong in your life, unless your family is falling apart right in front of your eyes. In the novel The River Ki the protagonist Hana, leaves her home to be married. She marries Keisaku, a well-known politician, who has a family that Hana mostly gets along with. She eventually has children with her husband and starts her own family, but then begins to have different struggles with her children, in-laws, and the rapid modernization of Japanese society. The River Ki takes place in Japan after the Meiji Restoration when society is undergoing major changes. It is a book that I would recommend, especially if you like challenging reads. There are a lot of different conflicts in this book. Each conflict has its own unique way of tying into the main conflict I thought that this was one of its strengths. The main conflict seems to be the fall of the Matani family and the events leading up to it. I thought that the main conflict was strength because it told a story of a family going through different highs and lows, which are something that may readers, can connect to. ¿They had the utmost respect for the Matani family, which had provided the village headman for generations.¿ (p.70) ¿Keisaku had died of a sudden heart attack at the age of sixty-six.¿ (p.188) The main conflict is not the only strength of this novel the strongest element of The River Ki is the characterization. Every character in this book was very realistic and very relatable. The character I think that young adults can relate to most is Fumio. I believe that they can relate to Fumio, because she does not always see eye to eye with Hana (her mother). They always seem to disagree on things. Fumio also acts on impulse and is very rebellious, which most teenagers can relate to. Sometimes teenage girls do not always see eye to eye with their mothers, Fumio also experienced that. ¿But for some reason Fumio was extremely hostile toward her mother and always highly critical of her¿ (p.97) ¿Fumio had rebelled against the teachers, arguing that, `Nowhere in the school regulations does it say that we have to wear maroon hakamas.¿ She then encouraged her classmates to join her in wearing green hakamas.¿ (p.91) One of the few weaknesses of this book is that it was not very interesting in certain sections. When I would read, I would lose focus on the text because it was slow and not keeping my attention. Most of the time, I was able to follow the book well, but I would get to certain points and it would seem to go on forever. At one point the author uses four long sentences to describe Fumio¿s uniform. It completely bored me. ¿The girl had her head covered with a long whit woolen shawl twisted loosely around her neck, one end falling forward and the other trailing in the wind. Her green cashmere hakama skirt appeared somewhat strange two white stripes ran around the hemline. Over a dress of hand-woven striped cotton, she was wearing a silk haori. Her stockinged feet were visible under the short hakama. It was clear to see that she was a student at Wakayama Girls¿ School.¿ (p.91) There are many more strengths of The River Ki that I did not mention, but will be revealed to you as you read the book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read challenging literature and who has a lot of patience. This book will be especially good for you if you are a fan of Japanese novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The River Ki If you can¿t fall asleep, I recommend you read The River Ki, you will be snoring before you even get to the10th page! The River Ki is, a novel written by Sawako Arriyoeshi, it takes place in Japan during War World Two, and is about a mother trying to keep tradition in her family her daughter wanting to keep up with society. The novel¿s conflict is between Hana, the protagonist, trying to impose her will on her children to keep Japanese traditions in the family, and Fumio, the antagonist, who is Hana¿s daughter and does not agree with keeping tradition in the family. The River Ki is a book I don¿t recommend, because its long, the vocabulary is complex, and the plot is confusing. A weakness of The River Ki is the author¿s style. The vocabulary is difficult and the sentences are long to understand the book you literally have to have a dictionary by your side. Also, Ariyoshi jumps from a different setting or time, without telling the reader. This makes The River Ki a long and boring book for anyone to read. The part that most bored me was when Hana see¿s aluminum and is amazed by it. ¿This was the first time Hana had actually seen aluminum ,though she had read in the paper about the discovery of this synthetic metal and how it had already appeared in the market¿(pg.77) A strength of The River Ki is that although it doesn¿t have much figurative language, the writing is very descriptive. . The author should have involved more figurative languages which would have made the reader get involved more in the story. One of my favorite descriptions was when Hana saw the white snake it really made me feel like I was seeing the snake. ¿It was the body of a huge snake which appeared to be a least two inches in diameter. Neither its tail nor head were visible. But its scales glittered as it moved. This must be the white snake which made its home in the ridge of the storehouse at the other end of the garden, Hana thought.¿ (pg.152) However, the author should have used more figurative language, which would have made the reader get involved more in the story. To me the greatest weakness of The River Ki is that the protagonist, Hana, is very static. She insists on keeping up with the idea of being traditional. She wants Fumio to be like her, to have a family and to have children (which she will). What bugs me is that Hana should have been open minded to Fumio and tried to understand her. There is a part in the novel were Hana catches Fumio riding her cousin Eisuke¿s bike, and as a result, Hana gets furious and throws Fumio into the dark room. ¿Hana gave Fumio no chance to speak in her own defense. She gave vent to a torrent of almost incomprehensible abuse as she dragged Fumio in the direction of the storehouse. No sooner did Fumio realize she was going to be thrown into the dark room than she burst into a childish wail.¿ (pg.122). I wished that Hana would have been more open minded in favor of her daughter, so that their relationship would have been better. Now if you are looking for a good book to read, I don¿t recommend The River Ki, you will lose your time trying to read it, but especially trying to understand it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the country of Japan, tradition is very important to their society. When someone breaks the rules of society, a whirlwind of changes take place. The River Ki exactly expresses that. This fictional novel, written by Sawako Ariyoshi, is set in Wakayama, Japan. From the late 1800¿s to the 1940¿s, the story tells the life of three generations of women from the Matani clan. Hana, the protagonist, is the perfect socialite and housewife and socialite of Matani Keisaku, a famous politician. Fumio, the antagonist, is the rebellious daughter of Hana. Fumio is trying to break out of the old traditional world into the new modern world. Hanako, the daughter of Fumio, is quiet and sweet. She tries to keep the peace between Hana and Fumio. I recommend this book if you like a book with a mysterious and sophisticated feel to it. A strength of The River Ki is the structure of the novel. Just like the petals of a rose, it has many layers to it. At first a simple sentence meant so little to me, but as I read on, I noticed that single sentence reveals itself more than it ever did before. In one part of the story, Fumio is talking to her uncle Kosaku about Hana. She is trying to figure out why the relationship between Hana and Kosaku is strained. ¿Your mother is a good example of a strong woman. You can compare her to the river Ki. Its blue waters, flowing leisurely, appear to be tranquil and gentle, but the river itself swallows up all the weak rivers flowing in the same direction.¿ (pg.111) Another strength of the novel is the language. Because the writing is so traditional, it is filled with refreshing figurative language, and it also has wonderful sensory details. For example, after Hana¿s wedding, she has to change her clothes for the reception. ¿Hana had changed into a gorgeous outer robe of with a design of pink winter plum blossoms in the Korin style woven on a gray ground, which she wore over a robe of figured silk of gold thread embroidery.¿ (pg. 24) The weakness of The River Ki is the pace of the book the rhythm of the story was very inconsistent. In the beginning the pace seemed very slow. It took about 10 pages just to describe Hana¿s wedding. Then at the end, everything happened in a rush. Within a matter of 5 pages over 3 people died, I had to reread the last pages of the book so I could figure out what happened again. The River Ki is a very classic, wonderful novel. It may have some weaknesses, but it is full of heartfelt life stories and lessons. I recommend this book to anybody who loves classic, blossoming novels that will blow you away in the end.