Kazuo Nakamoto's life in inner-city Tokyo is one of tea and tofu, of American TV and rock 'n' roll. Kazuo is nine. It is the mid-1960s, just after the Japan Olympics, and Kazuo dreams of being a track star. He hangs out with his buddies, goes to school, and helps with household chores. But Kazuo's world is changing. This bittersweet vel is a deft portrait of a year in a boy's life in a land and time far away, filled with universal concerns about fitting in, escaping the past (in this case World War II's lingering devastation), and growing up. J-Boys author Shogo Oketani is a writer and velist who grew up in Tokyo in the mid-1960s.
Shogo Oketani was born in 1958 and raised in Tokyo. Following studies in the humanities at Keio University, he became an active writer and translator. He is well known for his translations of modernist poet Ayukawa Nobuo, for which he and his wife, author and translator Leza Lowitz, received the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature from the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University, and a grant from the NEA. Avery Fischer Udagawa grew up in Kansas and studied English and Asian Studies at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She holds an M.A. in Advanced Japanese Studies from the University of Sheffield. She has studied at Nanzan University, Nagoya, on a Fulbright Fellowship, and at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama. She currently parents, writes, and translates in a bicultural (Japanese/American) family living north of Bangkok.