Tokyo Ueno station / Yu Miri ; translated by Morgan Giles.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First American edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations. Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial family and has been shaped at every turn by modern Japanese history. But his life story is also marked by bad luck, and now, in death, he is unable to rest, doomed to haunt the park near Ueno Station in Tokyo. Kazu's life in the city began and ended in that park; he arrived there to work as a laborer in the preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and ended his days living in the vast homeless village in the park, traumatized by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and shattered by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics. Through Kazu's eyes, we see daily life in Tokyo buzz around him and learn the intimate details of his personal story, how loss and society's inequalities and constrictions spiraled towards this ghostly fate, with moments of beauty and grace just out of reach. A powerful masterwork from one of Japan's most brilliant outsider writers, Tokyo Ueno Station is a book for our times and a look into a marginalized existence in a shiny global megapolis"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Notes:
      "First published in Japan by Kawade Shobō Shinsha as JR Ueno-eki Koen-guchi, Tokyo, 2014. First published in Great Britain in paperback in English by Tilted Axis Press, London, 2019"--Title page verso.
      Translated from the Japanese.
    • Other Titles:
      JR Ueno-eki kōenguchi. English
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      YŪ, M.; GILES, M. Tokyo Ueno station. First American edition. [s. l.]: Riverhead Books, 2020. ISBN 9780593088029. Disponível em: Acesso em: 25 out. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Yū M, Giles M. Tokyo Ueno Station. First American edition. Riverhead Books; 2020. Accessed October 25, 2020.
    • APA:
      Yū, M., & Giles, M. (2020). Tokyo Ueno station (First American edition.). Riverhead Books.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Yū, Miri, and Morgan Giles. 2020. Tokyo Ueno Station. First American edition. Riverhead Books.
    • Harvard:
      Yū, M. and Giles, M. (2020) Tokyo Ueno station. First American edition. Riverhead Books. Available at: (Accessed: 25 October 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Yū, M & Giles, M 2020, Tokyo Ueno station, First American edition., Riverhead Books, viewed 25 October 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Yū, Miri, and Morgan Giles. Tokyo Ueno Station. First American edition., Riverhead Books, 2020. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Yū, Miri, and Morgan Giles. Tokyo Ueno Station. First American edition. Riverhead Books, 2020.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Yū M, Giles M. Tokyo Ueno station [Internet]. First American edition. Riverhead Books; 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 25]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2020 April #1

*Starred Review* "I did not live with intent, I only lived. But that's all over now." Kazu is dead, but his spirit can't rest. As he wanders through Tokyo's Imperial Gift Park—where he last lived as a homeless wanderer—memories, visions, and hauntings reveal his past. That his 1933 birth coincided with Emperor Akihito's, followed by the birth of their respective sons on the same day in 1960, was supposed to be a "blessing," but tragedy repeatedly marked the decades: "I had no luck," Kazu unblinkingly insists. Driven by necessity rather than autonomy, Kazu worked as a laborer to provide for his family, resulting in years of disorienting isolation and demanding separation from the very people for whom he longed for most. Then death came too early for his son, and again too soon for his wife, depriving him of the comfortable companionship that should have been his reward in retirement. Difficulty and detachment marked his final years. Yu (Gold Rush, 2002), an ethnic Korean in Japan, is no stranger to modern society's traps driven by nationalism, capitalism, classism, sexism. Her anglophoned latest (gratitude to translator Giles for providing fluent accessibility) is a surreal fable of splintered families, disintegrating relationships, and the casual devaluation of humanity. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2020 April #2

In Yu's coolly meditative, subtly spectral tale (after Gold Rush), Kazu, a former denizen of a Tokyo tent city, looks mournfully on the past. Kazu lingers around Ueno Park in present-day Tokyo, where he once spent several years camping among the homeless, and spends the days people-watching and reminiscing. He recalls his birth in 1933 in rural Soma; remembers how he sought work for long stretches away from his family, including a grueling stint doing construction work in preparation for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics; and replays his response to the death of his only son at 21, in 1981 ("My shock, my grief, my anger were all so great that crying felt inadequate"), which led him to drift away and spend more time alone in Tokyo. After two decades pass, he winds up living in the park. The banal conversations he overhears in the present from middle-class park visitors clash with the bleak recollections of his perpetual misfortune, along with the fraught history of the park as a mass grave and site of rebellion, details that emerge in Kazu's remembered conversations with a fellow homeless man. The novel's melding of memory and observation builds toward Kazu's temporary eviction from the park in 2006. Yu's spare, empathetic prose beautifully expresses Kazu's perspective on the passage of time; he feels a "constant absence from the present, an anger toward the future." This slim but sprawling tale finds a deeply sympathetic hero in a man who feels displaced and longs for connection after it's too late. (June)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.