by David Zoppetti


Ichigensan: The Newcomer tells the story of an unnamed foreign student studying at a university in Kyōto and his relationship with a blind Japanese woman named Kyōko. First published in Tōkyō in 1997, it was hailed for its sensual descriptions, brilliant metaphors, and witty observations. The novel won the Subaru Prize for Literature and was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Japan. In 1999, the novel was made into a beautifully shot movie, starring Suzuki Honami, a popular Japanese actress, and Edward Atterton, a British actor who once lived in Japan.

  • To order, go to the relevant Amazon site:

Amazon in US:
Ichigensan - The Newcomer

Amazon in Japan:
Ichigensan - The Newcomer

Amazon in UK:
Ichigensan - The Newcomer

  • Here are some online reviews of the book:

Editor's Pick: “. . . a realistic and honest impression on what living in Japan as a foreigner is like:

Wonderland Japan: WAttention
Editor's pick

There are a couple of nice reviews on the goodreads site:

Ichigensan - The Newcomer

DVD for the Movie