142 • pearls around the neck
March in Japan is graduation month for students. Many had to be separated from their classmates as
they had been relocated last year to different schools. Some institutions arranged to have graduation
set up in tents so the entire class could be reunited and graduate together. For all of us here in Tokyo,
watching this through the media made us realize how resilient these young people are, how grown up
these junior and senior high school students are, compared to those here in Tokyo.
It is indeed a strong new generation.
Since WWII, the Tohoku Earthquake and the tsunami followed by the Fukushima nuclear drama, have
been the most devastating events in Japan’s 19th and 20th century history. 3 generations are witnesses.
For a fraction of the population, these events have no precedents.
I invite you to discover a new generation of Japanese writers, songwriters, poets and manga writers. You
will discern a fascinating world: a fresh wind breezes through the lines of Japanese literature.
Dive into the latest work of Inio Asano, born in 1980, “Good night Pung Pung” as soon as it will be
available in English!
The main idea of Pung Pung is that whatever might happen in our lives:
“We are driven to care for someone…”
Illustration: Tim Gallo