Kitchen

Love—A glimpse into a Cloudy Sky 11th Grade

Set in postmodern Japan, the novella Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto is a tale of two young people struggling to find a means of self-expression. Suspended in a fast-paced society that often isolates them in a state of constant restlessness, the main characters Yuichi and Mikage seek solace within each other; their profound love shows that individuals can find a sense of belonging and core identity in life through unconcealed displays of emotion and sincere interactions with others.

The absolute, sincere nature of Yuichi and Mikage’s love shows readers the importance of authenticity in not only building relationships, but also in living life. In one scene of the novella, Mikage compares the conversation she had with Yuichi to “a glimpse of stars through a chink in a cloudy sky”, ruminating that “perhaps, talks like this would lead to love” (30). This comparison of a conversation to a “glimpse of the sky” shows that genuine human interaction allows individuals to identify deeply with others, and leads them to experience ‘celestial-like’ revelations sharing profound thought.

Having experienced death and long, dark moments of loneliness, Yuichi and Mikage understand that conversation is not just trivial banter—it is the vehicle for...

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