Category Archives: Japanese Memoirs

Wednesday Narcissism #5

The camera throwing scene in Memoirs.

this-grayunicorn-is-an-art-geek:

errrr. i cannot afford to this with my camera 🙂 hahhaha but anyway this photography trick is insane and it produces more insanity when printed 🙂

HAHAHA 🙂

If you want them to be Japanese, they are. That’s what I say and I’m the author. I know about these things. 

and slowly, very slowly, you also forgot the tastes of things that really hurt. Even things I thought I would never ever forget slowly faded into lost memories. Guys from the past, guys that were awkward, girls who were cute, girls who were smart, who went to that university, whose parties were great, you end up forgetting all of that stuff. People you said you loved.. People you truely loved.. Even the people who you think you’ll remember till the very end. Mm, but that’s why the waves of memories get thinner. It’s because it’s possible to forget those things that it makes it possible for us to love someone else in the future.

My book becomes a screenplay becomes a Japanese screenplay becomes a Japanese movie becomes subtitled back into English. For comparison’s sake, here is the original text from the book:

“It happens, baby.” Dad nodded and patted me on the hand, and then he read my mind. “You forget all of it anyway. First, you forget everything you learned – the dates of the Hay-Herran Treaty and the Pythagorean Theorem. You especially forget everything you didn’t really learn, but just memorized the night before. You forget the names of all but one or two of your teachers, and eventually you’ll forget those, too. You forget your junior class schedule and where you used to sit and your best friend’s home phone number and the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. For me, it was something by Simon & Garfunkel. Who knows what it will be for you? And eventually, but slowly, oh so slowly, you forget your humiliations – even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, and athletic, and not. Who went to a good college. Who threw the best parties. Who could get you pot. You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even theones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.” 

japanese memoirs miscellany

The Japanese language movie of my book, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, is coming out next month in, appropriately enough, Japan.* (If this last sentence doesn’t make sense to you: www.gabriellezevin.blogspot.com/2008/12/tokyo-story-1-writing-life-4-japanese.html )

Here’s a picture Hans took of the poster in Shibuya Station:

I don’t have a scan of the poster by itself, but, if you look really closely, you’ll recognize the image on the poster as the scene from the book where everyone decides to dress up in all-white clothes for Heaven Prom. Oh, wait, that wasn’t in the book?!? Actually, this is just an image created for the poster — as far as I know, the movie itself is free of white clothes except for the suit Naomi’s father wears for his wedding.)

The short “flash” trailer:

The full-length trailer AKA the “dammit, we’re talking about tennis” version.

You can find both of the trailers and even more miscellany at the film’s official website: http://www.darekiss.com/
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*The Japanese title of the movie is Dareka ga Watashi ni Kissu wo Shita which translates to Someone Kissed Me.

Tokyo Story #2: Old News

No doubt, most interested parties have already seen these pictures, but I’ll post them here anyway.

The funny thing for me is, aside from the cast consisting of amazing Japanese actors*, pretty much all of it looks exactly like I pictured it. (Though, hey, I never specifically imagined Naomi et al as NOT Japanese either.) So yeah, we have those pesky steps! That brooding handsome dude! That short haircut! Devoted readers will note that James/Yugi rides a motorcycle in this version. You may also note the presence of a Caucasian guy in a — sigh! — trucker hat. This is Hans. (Many thanks to all who commented with well wishes by the way; we both enjoyed hearing from you!)

Incidentally, I’ve also watched a finished scene — Naomi and James/Yugi sled down the steps — and not to disparage the book, but in my opinion, it’s better than the book. Incredibly romantic.
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*This too has been reported elsewhere but I’m still thrilled to report that the American cast includes Emma Roberts and Anton Yelchin.

Tokyo Story #1 & The Writing Life #4: Japanese Memoirs; Love is Hell (ain’t it the truth?); Glass Fruit; Feud; Variety hates writers (maybe just me?)

Several years ago, Elsewhere received the Sakura Medal, an award given by the students of the various International Schools in Japan. I was delighted to receive this award because it comes with an actual medal* and, if you knew me, you’d know I like to obnoxiously bestow FAKE medals all the time. The “doing the dishes” medal, say. Or the very prestigious “cleared all the old television shows from my DVR” medal. Or the rarely given but hugely coveted “managed to not check Amazon.com for a month” medal.

Now, the strangely appropriate thing about this story is that a Japanese-language film version of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is currently shooting in Tokyo. The movie has been re-set to happen at an International School and, of course, translated to Japanese — much else remains the same from the book. I know this because I wrote the screenplay. The movie stars Kenichi Matsuyama (as James now Yugi), Yuya Tegoshi (as Will now Mirai), and Maki Horikita (as Naomi still Naomi — Naomi is a Japanese name; I picked it for the book because the Japanese characters translate to beautiful correction — strangely appropriate again, I’d say). I am told that, if I were a Japanese teenage girl or even Japanese, I’d be screaming wildly at this cast. As the movie is set at an International School, there will be two young, well-known American actors in the cast — more on them later. You can read a wildly inaccurate article about the movie from Variety that doesn’t mention me or the book at all.

On other fronts, Love is Hell, the anthology I’m in along with Justine Larbalestier, Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfeld, and Laurie Faria Stolarz is now in stores and available for purchase online. I know this because I’ve been getting quite a bit of e-mail about my story and yeah, I’ll try to post something in response to your very intriguing queries in the not so distant. Aside from the fact that he refers to me as Gabriel, Scott Westerfeld** does an awfully good job synopsizing the anthology on his blog. What I’d add to that is Publishers Weekly called the book “consistently supple” — which sounds to me rather like a fine leather sofa and possibly an oxymoron, depending on which definition of supple one’s chosen. Oh reviewers, how you tease me with your ADVERB + ADJECTIVE praise construction. Over the course of my career, I’ve been “playfully touching,” “darkly whimsical,” “effectively taut” — actually, this is starting to sound sort of dirty; we had better quit here.

Re: the photo. Readers of Memoirs will recognize this as the first scene of the book: James (now Yugi) runs to Naomi who is lying at the bottom of the stairs with the rescued camera. More pictures to come as I get permission to post them.

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*I’ve been fortunate enough to win several prizes over the years. (And really, how nice for me! I thought my prize-getting days had ended with the 1995 Spanish River High School Senior Awards Assembly.) The most recent thing I won was the Delaware Blue Hen Teen Book Award for Memoirs which came with a very nice certificate (Thank you so very much, Delaware teen readers and librarians!) — but my favorite prize is the Georgia Peach Teen Book Award. Honorable Mention for Elsewhere came with a beautiful blown glass peach. In my opinion, all awards should come with blown glass fruit.

**I am rarely told I resemble anyone but I have, on several occasions, been told I look like the girl from the cover of Scott Westerfeld’s Extras. Mostly this happened on my 2007 Book Tour — I suspect it was because everywhere I went, Scott Westerfeld had just been there the day before on his own book tour for Extras. I was thus bombarded by tales of Scott Westerfeld’s epic charm and wit. e.g. “Scott Westerfeld wore his pajamas! Isn’t that awesome?” Or once, in a city Scott Westerfeld HAD NOT yet been, I asked, “So, was Scott Westerfeld just here?” And the librarian turned to the bookseller who had arranged my appearance and said, “No, but could you get us Scott Westerfeld next time? We LOVE him! And has anyone ever mentioned that you look like the girl from Extras?” So yeah, buy Love Is Hell. I’m liked, but I’d say Scott Westerfeld is well liked, and therein lies all the difference.


For comparison’s sake, a picture taken of me by my mom from my birthday just past. I really should be liberally cropped and scowling more to be the girl from Extras.

The girl from Extras. She should be scowling less to be me. And she should really do something about that crazy eye.