The book is broken up into two parts. What happens in each, how do the characters react, and how are things resolved? What do these parallels tell us?

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Mahoko Yoshimoto's Kitchen consists of two novellas, "Kitchen" and "Moonlight Shadow." "Kitchen" is the story of a young Japanese girl, Mikage Sakurai, who is coming to terms with the loss of her grandmother and is helped by Yuichi and his mother Eriko. Along the way, both Mikage and Yuichi overcome their internal struggles and Mikage also helps Yuichi get over Eriko's death. In the end, they end up falling in love. The kitchen and food provide connecting links to the various aspects of story as Mikage and Yuichi overcome their personal grief and find new meaning to life. "Moonlight Shadow" is the story of Satsuki, who is coming to terms with the loss of her boyfriend (Hitoshi) and in time forms a friendship with his brother Hiiragi, who also lost his girlfriend Yumiko in the same accident. This is also a story of loss and grieving souls searching for meaning and purpose. Both Satsuki and Hiiragi have found ways to deal with the loss: she, by jogging to exhaustion and he, by wearing Yumiko's school uniform. They finally find solace in each other's company. 

The parallels between the two novellas give a powerful message to the readers that no matter what happens, there is always hope. Everybody has a reason to grieve over something or other, however, we can always find solace in something or someone, be it a hobby or a friend or love.

In case you meant the two parts of "Kitchen": The novella "Kitchen" is divided into two sections: "Kitchen" and "Full Moon." In the first part, Mikage is dealing with the loss of her grandmother and is invited by Yuichi to stay with them. It's at Yuichi's apartment that Mikage feels comfortable and gets over her loss and finds a new direction in life. In "Full Moon," Yuichi is dealing with the loss of his mother, Eriko, and is comforted by Mikage. The parallels indicate no matter how hard the loss is, there is always some hope (no matter what form it takes) and it can help us get over our sorrow and help us move on. 

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