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[Convenience Store Man] Sayaka Murata: Interesting five senses and inorganic expression.

convenience-store-woman
This article can be read in about 11 minutes.

Comments on the novel “Convenience Store Man” by Sayaka Murata, winner of the 155th Akutagawa Prize, are noted.

I read it about 3 years ago and re-read it this time.

Bitly

summary

36 years old, unmarried, no boyfriend. Keiko Furukura has been working part-time at a convenience store for 18 years. She has been working part-time at a convenience store for 18 years, which she started when she was in college, without getting a regular job.

Furukura had been an oddball since childhood, with few human relationships and no romantic experience, but by “imitating people she met at the convenience store” and listening to her sister’s advice, she finally learned how to act like a normal human being when she became a college student. For her, who had been out of the norm of ordinary people, this was “the moment I was born as a human being for the first time. One day, a new man, Shirou, comes to her for marriage activity and confronts her with the fact that such a convenience store lifestyle is embarrassing. ……

What is normal?

Many works question “what is normal? Many works question what is “normal” ( such as Ryo Asai’s “Shogeki,” which depicts a man who feels a sexual desire for water), and this work also questions what is “normal”? This work, too, asks the question, “What is normal?

Although I have never been particularly conscious of my sexuality, although I have never had sexual experience, I have never been particularly distressed simply because I am indifferent to my sexuality, but everyone is going on and on about it on the assumption that I am suffering. Even if I really am, it is not always in the obvious form of suffering that everyone says I am suffering, but no one wants to think that far ahead. I felt like I was being told that they wanted to make it that way because it was easier for them to understand.

Convenience Store Man” Sayaka Murata

Nowadays, there are many choices and ways of life that are becoming more diverse, but still, there is a “normal” way of life that many people share, and when we all get together, we tend to talk about “normal” topics. This is because it facilitates the smooth flow of the discussion.

In such a situation, when I see someone or someone’s way of life that is incomprehensible to me, I inevitably reject it and either keep my distance or begin to intervene with a look of interest, trying to force it into a category that is somehow comprehensible to me. Because it is more convenient for them.

Perhaps humans are creatures who cannot leave the incomprehensible as it is, as incomprehensible as it is. Not all of us are like that, but many of us are. Either they want to understand it somehow (which is a big deal), or if they still cannot understand it, they reject it. The distance is 0 or 100, and it is mushy. It is like a magnet that repels each other with the same polarity in the middle, and although you try to approach it with interest as the S-pole against the S-pole, of course, you cannot understand it forever, so it is as if it repulses you in the middle and moves away from you.

Everyone thinks they have the right to step in with their feet in the dirt on weird stuff and figure out what’s causing it. To me, that was annoying, arrogant, and exasperating. Sometimes when I feel too disturbed, I want to hit them with a shovel and stop them, just like in elementary school.

I see. She scolds me because she thinks I am from “this side”. That is why she is much happier to have her sister on “this side,” even if she has many problems, than to have her sister on “that side,” even if no problems are happening. It is a much more understandable and normal world for her.

Convenience Store Man” Sayaka Murata

Interesting expression of the five senses and inorganic

The first sentence of the piece begins with “Convenience stores are filled with sound.” Throughout this work, the inorganic nature of convenience stores and the frequent use of the five senses, including the sense of hearing, seemed to remind me that convenience stores are exciting places to read about.

Other phrases that I personally found interesting are listed below

Convenience stores are filled with sound.

Thus, another cell of the store is replaced.

They wear the same uniforms and are remade into uniform “shopkeepers” creatures.

The “world” I take in.

I am transmitting a revelation from the convenience store.

This is a place of forced normalization. Foreign objects are quickly eliminated.

Convenience Store Man” Sayaka Murata

The words that describe inorganic quality, such as “cell, ingestion, foreign substance, elimination, and normalization,” are scattered throughout the book, as well as the inorganic world in which he does not over-intervene: “I can be a shopkeeper and a cog in the world. This is the only thing that makes me a normal person.” The part where he assimilates, rather than affirms, the world is impressive.

The character’s inorganic nature (he does not read between the lines acts according to the words he receives from the other person, and does not feel anger toward the other person) is portrayed without negativity or positivity. The characterization of the person is in harmony with the inorganic nature of the convenience store.

The main character shines overwhelmingly in the world of convenience stores, a place where “individuality” is not really needed, and it has become his identity as well.

I could not stop hearing the “voice” of the convenience store. The shape of what the convenience store wanted to be, what the store needed to do, they flowed into my mind.

Convenience Store Man” Sayaka Murata

The level of support is now in the realm of religion, but I felt that the protagonist must have a wonderful life to be able to have an existence that he can rely on to that extent (a fact that I reaffirmed after many twists and turns). It seems that he will continue to pursue happiness in his life as a convenience store operator.

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