On Parole

On Parole By Akira Yoshimura Stephen Snyder are Books Prize winning Japanese writer Akira Yoshimur

On Parole By Akira Yoshimura Stephen Snyder are Books Prize winning Japanese writer Akira Yoshimura was the president of the Japanese writers union and a PEN member He published over 20 novels, of which in particular On Parole and Shipwrecks are internationally known and have been translated into several languages In 1984 he received the Yomiuri Prize for his novel Hagoku ,engl prison break based on the true story of Yoshie Shiratori.. After spending sixteen years in prison for a crime of the heart, Shiro Kikutani is released into a world he no longer recognizes He must readjust to the bright and vigorous stimulus of Tokyo while fending off his own dark memories In a spare yet powerful style, Akira Yoshimura paints the psychology of a quiet man navigating his way through the unsuspected traumas of freeAfter spending sixteen years in prison for a crime of the heart, Shiro Kikutani is released into a world he no longer recognizes He must readjust to the bright and vigorous stimulus of Tokyo while fending off his own dark memories In a spare yet powerful style, Akira Yoshimura paints the psychology of a quiet man navigating his way through the unsuspected traumas of freedom finding a job, finding a home, even something as simple as buying an alarm clock Kikutani takes comfort in the numbing repetition of his new daily life, only to be drawn inexorably back to the scene of his crime A subtly powerful story, On Parole explores the fragile life of a murderer and the conditions of freedom in an unforgiving society Yoshimura s startling novel raises provocative questions of guilt and redemption.. Bestseller Ebook On Parole The black bird flew away, never to return. The warmth of the anonymity overwhelmed by the callous sun lurks behind the soaring iron gates. The man takes a bus to a strange new world. The groceries rip through the paper bag. The accusatory tone of the store manager meshed with the wary eyes sensing his melancholy. Terror struck his eyes as he fumbled at the speeding automobile. How the world had changed? He thought he could rob the store. But, he was too old. Living in constant fear, he walked home. Feet firmly on the wobbly table, he carved on the ceiling beam words that could write a forgettable memoir of a man lost in the autumn of his life. A rope looped the beam; a noose approximated his neck and the rickety noise of the collapsed table. He was tired. The inert ceiling eulogized the inscrutability of a librarian –“Brooks was here”. Defying my melodramatic corny thought-processes, the emotive ‘Shawshank Redemption’ scene flickered, interrupting the initial perusing with scepticism over Kikutani’s providence riding the identical path of Brooks Hatlen. Could there be a noose awaiting his arrival at the halfway house? Or, the deafening chaos of the crimson blur would bring the inevitable, exploding through the silence within?“I like chickens. I like them a lot........”The crimson blur festers in the blackness spread across the tatami mats. The blue suit now tattered, a parched throat anticipating the surprise of a hot miso meal. A strange world, a new world, the clucking of the hens soars with every damp egg laid. The homogeneous streaming of eggs on the conveyor belt, harks back reflections of military stride at the prison. A tainted embryo at the cusp of breaking through the anonymity of the calcified eggshell carries the transgressions of the past etched behind the thick prison walls. The echoes of the boot thumping patrol guards subsided in the vastness of an industrial park. The crimson flood ebbs into a lighter hue breathing the fragrant air of freedom precipitated in the rancid stench of the chicken shit encasing slimy maggots. The memories of Sakura travelled from the twin graves flaring the fearsome inferno of a sordid past.Do you think he’ll tell other people who work there about me?Did he know that I just got out of prison?After sixteen long years, he gulped the alcoholic euphoria; he smoked, slept in a heated room, laughed like a man running in wild tasting the sweetness of freedom. The cruel sounds of “an indefinite incarceration” cautiously trailed the narrow alleys of gratifying autonomy and inescapable surveillance. The obscurity of the half-way house comforted the twitchy mind on the verge of desertion. Kikutani was on parole; assimilating his reception in the society that had prosecuted him for a crime he harboured no remorse. Cognisant of the delusional accusatory eyes, he had secrets everywhere which ceased to evaporate in the muggy air of the henhouse. Emiko’s bare hips shuddering in the deathly impenetrability of the crimson blur. The unpleasant smell of burned wood lingered in the tranquillity funeral tablets. The arousing nostalgia of a tethered fly pinned on the edge of a hat looping with the resentful life of a strangled bird.“A fly that had found its way into his cell landed on his foot, and as he stared at it, he felt a pang of envy for the freedom of this tiny insect.”The timorous fly crawling to its independence, the broken wing restricting the destined flight; the claustrophobic existence of the hens clacking fervently at the sight of a human , the clipping of the beaks to reinstate the stated hierarchy in the henhouse and the tiny translucent killifish eggs shimmering amongst serene seaweed equated the fragmentary predicament encumbering Kikutani as a convicted man agonized by his haunting past, the timid present and a capricious future crammed between the legitimacy of survival and a respite from loneliness. Yoshimura’s unbiased handling of Kikutani’s caricature integrates the inherent culpability of grief and the intricacy over the earnestness of penitence. Kikutani’s constant struggle to re-assimilate and adjust in a prejudicial society consumes the core of his sanity and indispensable tolerance collapsing in the self- destructing truth bitterly frenzied between the fragility of an outsider and a righteous man. The fear of discovery veiled in surreptitious communications questions the inexplicable psychology of men on parole and the simultaneous grappling of the critical pandemonium by the assigned parole officials. The illusion of liberation twisted in a charred birdcage of natural retribution and the potential hope of clemency seeking a closure from the world beyond stirs the permissible angst over personal and communal justice. The agitation of collapsing egg market in an economic volatility develops into a salient pictogram of the imminent obliteration of human nature manoeuvred by the erratic peripheral milieu. Emotively, Yoshimura assembles the legitimate asphyxiation embedded in the quandary of a virtuous figure encircling fragility of life. The sunny prediction of seeking a ‘pardon’ fluctuated over the adherence of Kikutani’s fortitude prevailing over his cloudy past.“If he stayed in the prison, passing his day between his cell and the print shop, none of this would have happened. In prison he was hidden from the prying eyes, alone in his own world; but here there were too many people, too much to worry about. It had been wrong to let him out.”The accessibility to the refinement of the established conjecture “deemed fit to return to the society” burgeoning from the uneasiness of departure from the consoling oblivion of tapered prison quarters and the bitter joy accustomed with the borderless expanse of society , the irony of a far-flung dream slipping in a burrow of self-doubting realism. Intentionally, Yoshimura floats on the edge of the Japanese Criminal Justice system, resisting the palpable urge of diving into the complexities of the concurring legalities. Thus, leading to a lucid depiction of the mitigating pragmatism of Kikutani and the people around him. The helplessness of Toyoko, the looming trepidations of Takasaki, Emiko’s icy visage and Kiyoura’s loyalty bubbled into the maddening scarlet void. Kikutani’s incessant contemplation about returning to the secrecy of the prison walls averting the nightmares of crippled peace in the air of emancipation, delves into the vulnerability of the justice programs initiated in the rehabilitation of parolees. The noble benevolence of Kiyoura and Takebayashi rooted in their selfless service to the possibility of re-establishing a sense of reverence and reception in parolees gratifies the perseverance of the parole officers in the meticulous work aiding the parolees in achieving a normal existence and averting their return to crim. Nonetheless, perceiving the loopholes in the justice system, one is compelled to ask, ‘How far and to what depth can the rehabilitation work?’ And, when is a parolee or rather any prisoner for that matter truly ‘free’ in all sense without succumbing to the tremors of the past? Can the sanctity of forgiveness triumph over the insanity of life and if will it then restore the pristine sanity devoid of ambiguity? Is the vehemence of fate greater than psychosomatic reverberations? The tussle between betrayal and trust exploded in the crystallised mass of fleeting fragility. The probabilities of Kikutani walking into the crimson blur sympathetically lurking on the very next tip of a glowing incense stick.

About Author

  1. Prize winning Japanese writer Akira Yoshimura was the president of the Japanese writers union and a PEN member He published over 20 novels, of which in particular On Parole and Shipwrecks are internationally known and have been translated into several languages In 1984 he received the Yomiuri Prize for his novel Hagoku ,engl prison break based on the true story of Yoshie Shiratori.


On Parole Comment

  1. The black bird flew away, never to return The warmth of the anonymity overwhelmed by the callous sun lurks behind the soaring iron gates The man takes a bus to a strange new world The groceries rip through the paper bag The accusatory tone of the store manager meshed with the wary eyes sensing his melancholy Terror struck his eyes as he fumbled at the speeding automobile How the world had changed He thought he could rob the store But, he was too old Living in constant fear, he walked home Feet f [...]

  2. I should have read Akira Yoshimura s On Parole years ago My twin is his superfan and she urged me to read this book many times It is my own fault for waiting so long probably didn t want to be disturbed and think about stuff I wish we could talk about it this moment as it is reeling in my half thoughts and confused emotions Now it is time Sorry, I need my twin, I need , I need fire fighters for the fire raging in my head, registered nurses because it knocked me out I can keep going Organ donors [...]

  3. This novel is strangely compelling and claustrophobica man on parole he d murdered his wife must be very careful so as not to land in jail again His careful meticulous ways, his fears of messing up, and the portrait of life in a Japanese city are fascinating Like others of Yoshimura s novels, the ending is not hopeful.

  4. This isn t the book I was expecting to read All that I thought it was about was crammed in to the last three chapters The book s not intended as a critique of Japanese approaches to marriage and gender relations but I found it hard, not coming from that tradition myself, to see beyond this I don t think it helped that I found the motivations of both wives rather difficult to understand.It s inevitable to think of the get busy living or get busy dying message in Shawshank and I guess On Parole sh [...]

  5. This is a spare, thought provoking novel out of Japan, telling the story of Kikutani s parole from prison after sixteen years of incarceration The Japanese parole system is evidently a lot kinder and gentler than the American one, or at least it appears so from this novel The parole officers in the story are unpaid volunteers, men of standing in the community They go above and beyond the call of duty and act as friends and counselors than they act as enforcers of the law, and Kikutani grows to [...]

  6. The sign of an excellent author is his ability to make the reader really identify with the characters lives In this book, you really understand the perspective of the unusual protagonist older Japanese man recently released from prison The passages alternate from soft and peaceful sudden moments of passion and anger Amazing.

  7. Hmmm was written so simplistically, so unimaginatively and plainly This must have been the intent as such it conveyed what the main character was going thru hiding and hiding from his inner feelings as he tried to complete his emotional rehab There were just two short times in the book middle and end where there actually was emotion and real raw feelings conveyed Assuming that was as intended, the author crafted it well But let me say this good thing it was a short read I would have put it down [...]

  8. I was riveted Even though very little almost nothing happens The style of writing is dull and matter of fact, and yet the book filled me with images, thoughts, and feelings even though like I said not much happens There s Traveling on a train Cleaning out the chicken coops Sitting on the apartment floor That s about it But it s about prison, entrapment, claustrophobia, anger Something feels brilliant about this book I need to read by this writer.

  9. J tais all bouquiner et discuter litt rature avec quelques amis libraires L un d eux m a tendu ce livre d Akira Yoshimura, un auteur que je ne connaissais absolument pas Il me l a vant et, intrigu par le curieux m lange de la quatri me de couverture et du sujet, j emporte le bouquin et entame la lecture aussit t dans le m tro.La narration propose de suivre en douceur la mise en libert conditionnelle de Kikutani, pr c demment condamn perp tuit L auteur emploie un style sensible, presque chirurgic [...]

  10. I can t remember how I first heard about Yoshimura I have always had an interest in Japanese fiction Unfortunately not many of his books are translated into English, fortunately this one is If there is a first book you can read by an author I d be hard pressed to find a better one It is a simply written, yet beautiful story of a man trying to adjust to life after spending decades in jail for murdering his wife The transition from prisoner to relatively free man is precarious at first, but begins [...]

  11. Lost in translation.I am often seduced by the success of authors who are either prolific or highly praised Reading On Parole by Akira Yoshimura was one such case I was looking for the secret that would turn this simply told tale of human isolation and loneliness into magic The strength of the book is in how little emotions the protagonist feels except when pushed to the edge , so that the simplicity of prose otherwise works well Nevertheless, it is possible that the translation from Japanese has [...]

  12. What did I think HmmThe subject matter was intriguing enough, but the writing was somewhat hollow.It was easy to read, but not especially interesting.The ending was, truth be said, to be expected, although this wasn t a bad thing I would have been astonished if this man was let to live his life peacefully.It was somewhat weird to me, how everyone were so understanding, so kind How they let things get out of hand A wife is no substitute for fish.I don t think people who have committed such crimes [...]

  13. Sparse, clean writing is the best way to deliver a story about a former convict who is ruled by the minimal and bare routine of existing in prison and then building a life once he is out The nature of how one depends on routine to survive than struggling with guilt is interestingly and humanely handled The novel loosely inspired a great Japanese movie from the late 90 s, The Eel They stand alone and apart because each is a different story with life after prison the only commonality for the mos [...]

  14. Contrary to most other reviews of this book, it is actually telling us that women are nothing but trouble and you re better off not marrying them.Other lessons 1 If you catch your wife with another man, surprise and overpower them both Tie them up Disfigure the man and the your wife Scar their torso too At the most, hack off the man s dick Do not kill either of them You don t want to be sentenced to death or for too long a time.2 Do not burn your wife s lover s house.3 Do destroy the material th [...]

  15. Durch Zufall bei Oxfam gefunden und es hat mich berrascht Die eigentliche Geschichte ist recht simpel und leider verr t einem die Buchschreibung schon das Ende an sich, aber trotzdem ist es irgendwie interessant Einige Passagen schildern den Blick eines Menschen auf die schnelle Gesellschaft, der quasi 15 Jahre ihrer Entwicklung verpasst hat Das f ngt bei erschreckenden Preisen an, betrifft aber auch Dinge wie mehrspurige Autobahnen, Fahrst hle und Aufz ge das Buch ist aus dem Jahr 1998 im Orina [...]

  16. The writing style is very simple Very honest, no pretensions That made me connect to Kikutani san Not to mention that I shared some of his quirks Like seeing a green parasol can turn my day topsy turvy I felt I knew him He was telling me about himself, his thought, his feeling All of them, without reservation.Ah, the end was just killing me Yoshimura san is merciless Stabbing the knife to my back at the unexpected time well, maybe I knew it like a minute before, but still Twisted the knife in my [...]

  17. International Japan and prolific writer Yoshimura tells a story of crime and punishment in the life of a high school predictable teacher After commiting his passion crime he goes to jail and released early for exemplary behavior As he considers his past, he decides that he was really not guilty he was provoked and has no remorse He decides to marry again and begins to feel a familiar, growing rage.

  18. Roman tout en subtilit o le lecteur d couvre petit petit la complexit motionnelle de Kikutani Ce dernier est en libert conditionnelle apr s avoir fait 15 ans de prison pour le meurtre de sa femme et de la m re de l amant de cette derni re Apr s avoir d couvert un nouveau Japon, il se remarie Entre son d sir d ob ir et de vivre une vie normale, son pass revient la surface au del du bien et du mal Toujours dans la rigidit de sa souffrance non r solue.

  19. First off, this book was adapted into a film entitled The Eel , but the adaptation was so bad that I was worried the book itself had been a poor choice of source material to begin with I was happy to have been proven wrong This is one of the saddest and also one of the most suspenseful novels I ve ever had the luck to come across.

  20. A 1988 Japanese novel translated into English in 1999 Akira Yoshimura tells a tale of a man who becomes paroled from a life prison sentence and must learn to reconnect with the outside world The story keeps a meditative pace, but always stays interesting as it explores the intricacies of a long term prisoner now paroled into a world vastly different from what he left.

  21. A wonderful thought provoking book about a convicted murderer out on parole Yoshimura has the ability to capture your attention from beginning to end You cannot help but identify with Kikutani who struggles to adjust to a society which is no longer recognizable.

  22. Un profesor japon s ha sido condenado a cadena perpetua por el asesinato de su esposa ad ltera y la anciana madre del amante Una vez obtenida la libertad bajo palabra luchar tr gicamente por reintegrarse en la sociedad.

  23. Wow, this book blew me away Again, a quick read but he takes you deep, the characters are fascinating and the plot surprises Most of all, it s all the book s main guy, and we watch him with him like a fly on the wall of his mind.

  24. There are some books that create a permanent file inside your mind This is one of those books Nothing embellished, but emotionally insightful Explores the facility of normality we all try to maintain and what happens when it s no longer easy to do so.

  25. Very well written, but by the end I don t know if I can say I liked it It s an interesting psychological study, but I dislike that the main character, Kikutani, remains or less unresponsible or unremorseful for his crimes.

  26. The story of a guy who did sixteen years in prison and get out to find life has changed As someone who has worked in the prison system for 6 years the story seems very plausible I think that Mr Yoshimura must have talked to a few former inmates.

  27. Stark portrayal of a man released on parole back into Japanese society Nothing much happens until the final section of the novel, but this serves to reflect the monotony of the protagonists life.

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