Yoshida Shūichi: Der grüne Blitz
Yoshida Shūichi 吉田修一 (*1968) is one of the most successful and productive contemporary authors in Japan. His literary texts describe in an easily accessible, yet poetic language the inner conflicts of a generation that has lost its faith in the future. Interesting storylines expose emotional abysses, question human behavior patterns, and provide an insight into the current Japanese society by referring particularly to actual movies, music and digital media. Yoshida’s novels are not only best sellers in Japan, but also highly appreciated in China and Korea, where the majority of his texts are already available in translation. The French scholar for Japanese Studies Gérard Siary was the first to introduce Yoshida to a Western audience by translating Pāku raifu パーク・ライフ (2002) into French as Park Life (2007). Other novels followed such as Parēdo パレード (2002; Fr. Parade, 2010) and Akunin 悪人 (2007; Fr. Le Mauvais, 2014). Meanwhile, the American scholar Philip Gabriel published two English versions of Yoshida’s novels: Akunin (Villain, 2010) and Parēdo (Parade, 2014). For a German readership Yoshida’s narrations are not yet available.
The short story Ao no inazuma 青の稲妻 („The Green Lightning“) was initially published in June 2009 in the inflight magazine Tsubasa no ōkoku 翼の王国 (Wing Span) of All Nippon Airways as one of twelve short stories that Yoshida published within one calendar year. In September 2010, these short stories came out together with eleven other essays written by Yoshida in a collection entitled Sora no bōken 空の冒険 (Adventures in the Sky) as a hard cover version published by Kirakusha. The following translation of Ao no inazuma is based on the later, unmodified paperback text version of 2013 (2nd edition) released by Shūeisha. It is the first translation of Yoshida’s work into German.
Ao no inazuma illustrates in miniature the potentials which Yoshida's novels are able to unfold on a lager scale. These invite readers on a journey that starts in everyday situations and leads deep into the thoughts of the characters. In the short story presented here, the reader accompanies the employee Kawase Kyōhei on his daily way to work, learning certain details about his childhood, youth and current life en route.