Banana Yoshimotos novelette Kitchen depicts the narrative of a individual miss Mikage who has lost her household. However, she shortly discovers a new household with an old friend Yukichi and Eriko his female parent. Both of them comfort her and assist her choice up her life once more. Yoshimoto develops a subject of the importance of household in one ‘s life by utilizing Mikage as a vehicle to typify the battles one experiences without a household. Yoshimoto conveys that persons need some kind backup and support from household in order to populate merrily.
The apparent symbolism used to associate the importance of kitchen to household is highlighted in Nipponese tradition. Traditionally the term for a kitchen is Kamado, and the word Kamado means range, there are many expressions that involve this word, this is because it is seen to stand for the house or a household, illustrations would include Kamado wo wakeru, and Kamado wo yaburu. The actual significance would be to interrupt or to split a range, but the symbolic significance is to divide a household. This emphasizes the usage of Kitchen as a motive to insinuate a house or household. This symbolism is used throughout the novel, where Mikage ‘s love for kitchens exemplifies Yoshimoto position that persons should love their households. Furthermore, the felicity attained by Mikage from Kitchens besides highlights how households make people happy, therefore touching their importance. Therefore, the extended usage of the kitchen as a topographic point of heat comfort and understanding symbolises the function of a household, and it ‘s importance as a supportive component in one ‘s life. This links into the usage of the Kamado ‘s as a symbol for a place or household, this being a method for Mikage to cover with losingss she has experienced with both her grandma and Eriko.
The importance of kitchens to Mikage ‘s life is repeated throughout the fresh jointing Yoshimoto ‘s position of the importance of households in life. The motive of ‘Kitchen ‘ is peculiarly important in the novel as foremost the rubric of the book is ‘Kitchen ‘ therefore implying significance of this motive. Furthermore it is besides how the novel starts, Mikage believes that kitchens are the “ best aˆ¦.place in this universe ” ( Yoshimoto, 2001, p 3 ; subsequent commendations refer to this edition and look in the text ) ; this instantly alludes to the reader that Mikage loves to cook and that it is her passion. This dual entendre besides highlights that households should be where one feels most comfy, and hence should be the best company of people one would desire. Mikage besides suggests that she loves all kitchens since all she needs is “ a topographic point where they make nutrient ” ( p3 ) so “ it ‘s all right with ” ( p3 ) her. This farther emphasizes her passion to cook. The motive infers that cookery is the most of import activity in Mikage ‘s life. Despite her passion for cookery, Mikage besides seeks out “ comfort ” ( p4 ) from the kitchen, as it is the “ one topographic point she [ can ] sleep ” ( p4 ) , after her grandma ‘s decease. Although she is left with no household, she still is able to happen comfort in the kitchen, suggests that Mikage finds the kitchen to be her household. This usage of symbolism farther illustrates her love for nutrient and kitchens, as it is a topographic point where she seeks heat and shelter from the calamities of life, much like what persons seek out from their households. Furthermore, Mikage would desire to “ take a breath [ her ] last breath in a kitchen. ” ( p4 ) This emphasizes her absolute love for kitchens, as she would wish to pass as much clip in the kitchen as possible during her life, this farther underlines the importance of kitchen and reflects Yoshimoto ‘s importance for household in one ‘s life.
Furthermore, Kitchens are invariably presented in a positive visible radiation by making so household life is besides portrayed in a positive mode, as the kitchen is Mikage ‘s ( symbolic ) household, farther exemplifying its importance. Mikage was in a “ shock ” ( p4 ) after the funeral, and she pulled “ her futon into the deathlike silent, glittering kitchen ” ( p4 – p5 ) . The usage of apposition of “ deathlike silent ” ( p4 ) and “ glittering kitchen ” ( p5 ) connotes the Kitchen in a positive visible radiation, with the word “ glimmer ” ( p4 ) . This occurs when Mikage has lost all her household, and the kitchen has now become her new household that comforts her. This is depicted with the usage of “ glittering ” ( p4 ) , which symbolises hope and shelter the kitchen gives, which is besides what households give excessively. Furthermore, one time Mikage stepped into the kitchen it had transformed her feelings from “ the darkest desperation to experiencing fantastic ” ( p35 ) ; this portrays the kitchen as a topographic point of healing, a topographic point that is ever uplifting, and comforting. This usage of apposition further illustrates the importance of households, as it had consoled her so that she was no longer in a negative temperament.
The importance of household is portrayed on both a physical degree every bit good as a physiological degree, where the memory of Mikage clip in a Kitchen comforts her. The kitchen comforts her through the deceases of two loved 1s first it was her grandma, and so it was Eriko. After Eriko ‘s decease Mikage comes to the realization that kitchens “ stand for some distant yearning engraved in [ her ] psyche ” ( p56 ) . The usage of enunciation infers that the memory of the kitchen itself gives her strength during hard state of affairss, which in this instance is Eriko ‘s decease. This point is further stressed when Mikage is woolgathering, she “ dream [ s ] [ of ] kitchens, [ she ] will hold infinite 1s, in [ her ] bosom or in world ” ( p43 ) , exemplifying how the kitchen has become apart of her and is present in her imaginativeness and thoughts. This farther high spots that the idea of kitchens and nutrient provide healing, and provoke felicity in Mikage, picturing that she can non populate without them and touching that persons can non populate merrily without a household of some kind. Additionally, Yoshimoto uses the symbolism of workss to exemplify life and farther stress the motive of the kitchen being a topographic point where Mikage looks for hope. Mikage loved her grandma dearly and clearly remembered, “ [ her ] Grandmother loved cut flowers. Because the 1s in [ her ] kitchen were non allowed to wilt. “ ( p7 ) This usage of symbolism suggests that kitchens denote life, which is suggested by the usage of flowers, as they link with nature. This farther emphasizes the manner in which her character sees the kitchen as a topographic point of hope. The summer Mikage had spent with Yukichi and Eriko, was “ [ a ] summer of bliss [ spent ] in that kitchen ” ( p59 ) . This infers the comfort Mikage attains when reflecting upon the clip she spent with her new household, which is, suggested through the word “ bliss ” ( p59 ) . Therefore, memory of clip spent with her household gives strength to Mikage in times of crisis or loss. Although the ‘kitchen ‘ takes on many functions in the novel, all these functions seem to associate with the duties of a household, therefore picturing that Mikage has made her ‘companion ‘ the kitchen, her household.
Yoshimoto besides highlights the importance of household by taking on a negative position of consumerism, as she considers it to impact household life negatively. Consumerism is a planetary phenomenon happening all around the universe. It is a societal motion in which persons purchase goods in surplus, for pleasance and enjoyment. This is peculiarly linked with the western universe particularly America, but this is besides apparent in Japan today and is evident in the novelette. There are many cases in the novel where the subject of consumerism is illustrated as seen with the purchase of the drinker and the word processor. Mikage believed that “ these people had a gustatory sensation purchasing new things ” ( p27 ) therefore foregrounding the subject of consumerism, which is further emphasized when “ Yukichi exclaimed merrily ” ( p26 ) coming through the door after the purchase. This enunciates Yukichi ‘s felicity from purchasing the word processor, which is viewed as “ verged on the unhealthy ” ( p27 ) . By associating the word “ unhealthy ” ( p27 ) with purchasing a excess of points, this depicts the feeling of Yuichi often buys unneeded points. The word “ unhealthy ” ( p27 ) likewise presents the reader with an feeling that this act of purchasing is so strong that it is comparable to that of a upset or disease. Therefore touching the negative impact of consumerism, into Nipponese civilization and tradition, where regard and household clip is regarded as of import. Furthermore, the contextual facets of the book suggest that Japan was undergoing its greatest roar and fiscal richness since its post-war period, and much of it was due to the growing of consumerism in Japan. Despite this, Yoshimoto has chosen to imply consumerism negatively, farther exemplifying her strong position towards household life despite her broad upbringing.
In the novelette ‘Kitchen ‘ Banana Yoshimoto, deems that households are really of import in everyone ‘s life. She does this with the usage of many literary devices such as symbolism, apposition and enunciation to exemplify the prominence and duties of a household, which are to be supportive, soothing, accepting and loving towards one another. Yoshimoto besides touches upon the negative impacts of consumerism in society and on household life in Japan, picturing that household dealingss should trump all others. As they are an built-in portion in 1s life as they comfort through the calamities life and celebrate with the successes.
Word Count: 1498